Re-invigorating West Pilton Park

How could West Pilton Park be transformed? 

That was the challenge that ELGT helped the Pilton Community Health Project (PCHP) tackle over the summer of 2015, when they ran a whole programme of events and activities in the park to give local residents and anyone using the park a chance to have their say about ideas for West Pilton Park.

There were no shortage of ideas, and there is no shortage of potential - 5 hectares big, there are woodlands, play areas, landscape features, space for sports and scope for a whole lot more.

The park is on two levels, divided by a bank and east-west path - perfect for watching football games below. A key park feature is the giant stone "footprint", created by artist, musician and sculptor Allan Ross (1940-2011) who, amongst many other creations, was also responsible for creating the Viking longboat used in the torchlight Hogmanay procession to Calton Hill.

Once all the questionnaires were compiled, ELGT drew up some suggested landscape improvements based on the suffestions gathered at the events.

The next step is to see what people think of them and then to include them in future plans for the park. You can see them here.

But progress in the park began straight away. Over the winter 2015/16 ELGT ran a programme of community woodland improvements starting with a litter pick which filled up over 40 bin bags of rubbish.

Woodlands have been thinned and thousands of bulbs have been planted - all by teams from local organisations such as Forthview Primary School and Pilton Equalities Project.

Thanks to funding from the Postcode Local Trust which is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People's Postcode Lottery we were able to improve the local environment. Our project recieved £14,032 from the Trust to make a very visible improvement to the park as an open space by creating some interesting features in the park. It will improve the biodiversity of the park through conservation activities that enable the community to take pride in the park.

This included planting 27 new feature trees along park boundary and along principal paths which changes the nature and feel of the park from one of being open and desolate to one that will have a positive impact on the local streetscape. The spacing and tree species selection involved the local community and ensured that they do not obscure views and create hidden areas. It adds to the park landscape and breaks up the large open ground and delineates the park edges. We have also engaged the local children to plant bulbs around the base of the trees.