Armed Forces Covenant Project

South West Edinburgh Armed Forces Covenant Project

The project involves a programme of community activity and participation sessions to transform, improve and maintain sections of urban woodland surrounding the Dreghorn and Colinton areas of south Edinburgh. The woodlands are part of a local network of paths and greenspaces connecting a series of parks, woods and open spaces, including a stream, in the wider area. The woodlands serve a range of different communities and local amenities, and lie between two distinct residential areas, separating the predominantly military areas of Dreghorn and Redford from nearby Swanston, Colinton and Hunters Tryst. They have great potential as a valuable local amenity and as traffic-free connections through the surrounding areas.

The conservation sessions enable the different communities to come together in a joint activity with lasting results, namely the improvement and opening up of the woodlands. Improving paths and connections remove the physical barriers between the two communities, join them up and encourage permeability. Perceptions and attitudes are improved by everyone having jointly taken part in a wide community project. Improvements to woodland and woodland access around MOD homes change perceptions of these homes being in a distinct neighbourhood. There are also long-lasting physical improvements to the ecology. 

The programme involves:

  • Conservation volunteering/woodland management sessions involving armed forces, their families and the wider community
  • Improvements to the woodland and other greenspaces around Dreghorn, Colinton and Swanston, including some sections of the Braid Burn
  • Upgrade and improve existing footpaths and create new ones
  • A “deep green” litter pick - a comprehensive effort to remove accumulated litter, dumping etc
  • Construction of natural play or other facilities in the woodland and nearby open spaces

ELGT has delivered woodland activities with Colinton Primary School, which has a high percentage of military children. Bonaly Primary parents and pupils have also been getting involved. The other schools include, Oxgangs, St Marks and Pentland primaries. The 3 rifles and the DIO survey team haev also made improvements. 

Here is a link to a film that has been made about the project by the Armed forces welfare team.