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 werecompiled, ELGT drew up some suggested landscape improvements based on the suggestionsgathered at the events.The next step is to see what people think of them and thento include them in future plans for the park. You can see them here.

Since 2015 ELGT has taken part in diverse activities to regenerate the park, including recurring litter-picking sessions. 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. 

The project recieved £14,032 from the Postcode Local 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.


Community engagement in the park has taken the form of woodland bulb-planting sessions wiith children from the Perniehall Primary School, especially from their 'Eco-Hub' which has participated in bulb-planting and litter surveying sessions regularly. 


ELGT has also received fundings from Fields in Trust to run a series of free outdoors exercise classes. Weekly Boxercise  classes have taken place in the park through the autumn and winter of 2018, helping local residents get fitter, grow stronger and build their confidence. These have been followed by a walking group, accessible to all ages, which has led residents around diverse routes in the surrounding area.