Hailes Quarry Park

Hailes Quarry Park

Since 2006, the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust has been working on an ongoing project to make environmental improvements to Hailes Quarry Park.

We have a number of project strands to engage the local community to get involved with events and activities in the Park, encouraging people to use the park as a safe and welcoming place for healthy living, exercise, enjoyment and recreation.

ELGT and teams of volunteers spent 2016 creating a brand-new wetland habitat in Hailes Quarry Park – turning a problem area in the park into an exciting new feature.

The badly-drained section of the park has long been a problem and Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust together with the park steering group came up with a solution – to transform the site into a brand-new wetland area to become home to wetland plants and wildlife. The problem dates back to the park’s days as a quarry which closed due to flooding before being filled in, capped in clay and then turned into a park. This area is still the lowest point of the park, floods regularly and is damp and boggy for most of the year, making it out of bounds for park users and difficult to mow and look after.

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 access to the wetland area. Our project recieved £20,000 from the Trust to build a boardwalk and to facilitate community activities to encourage people to learn about the local nature.

A concerted programme of planting a range of wetland plant species has created a brand-new habitat which will be a new feature in the park. Home to birds and even amphibians as well as a host of native wetland plants. With the park being next to the Union Canal, the new wetland area will be a valuable part of the green corridor either side of the tow path and the canal’s banks. The new wetland is another Edinburgh Living Landscape delivered by ELGT.

The Wetland was a great success but because its surrounding areas remained fairly wet and boggy, access was sometimes challenging. We are therefore very pleased to announce that with funding support from Paths for All, ELGT has delivered the building of a new path so that the boardwalk and viewing platform can be accessed safely and easily by all park users, regardless of the weather.

As part of the Learning and Discovery area, we have installed a nature trail in Hailes Quarry Park. Download the leaflet here and use it to follow the trail, find the seven posts hidden in the woodland and make rubbings of the pictures on the posts. The trail reveals some of the biodiversity that can be found in the park.

This project was funded by WREN, and the design and installation was carried out by Ratho Byres Forge. The leaflets are also available from Wester Hailes library.

A concerted programme of planting a range of wetland plant species has created a brand-new habitat which will be a new feature in the park. Home to birds and even amphibians as well as a host of native wetland plants.

Funded by: Postcode Local Trust, WREN

Outputs:

  • 10 community groups engaged with
  • 2 local schools engaged with
  • 4 meetings of Steering Group held
  • 4000 bulbs planted
  • 500 wildflower plugs planted
  • 500 wetland plugs planted
  • 15 orchard trees planted
  • 90 people attended Owl Magic event
  • 27 people took part in a Mini Highland Games
  • 33 people enjoyed a buggy walk and picnic

Outcomes:

  • Opportunities for people to gain new skills and knowledge
  • Increased number of people from community groups who regularly access the park
  • Increased participation in environmental and outdoor activities
  • Mental and physical wellbeing maximised through increased activity levels and contact with greenspace
  • Increased promotion and number of people regularly using the park for health, wellbeing, learning and enjoyment
  • Greater opportunities for social interaction through environmental activity