Leith Links Arboretum

Leith Links Arboretum

In collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and City of Edinburgh Council, Leith Links will be growing tree species from across the globe as part of the effort to conserve them.

Leith Links park is the principal open space within Leith which extends to 18.5 hectares (46 acres). In its current form it is divided by a road into two main areas, a western section and an eastern section, both being largely flat expanses of grass bordered by mature trees. The west section of the park contains children’s play areas which has recently been upgraded by ELGT.

The project involved the creation of an arboretum in a corner of Leith Links towards the most easterly section of the park through selecting a range of species with the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh and City of Edinburgh Council officers with some that are at risk in the rest of the world and require to be conserved. An arboretum is a specially designed area of different types of trees for scientific, educational and ornamental purposes.

The arboretum has 52 tree species from the majority of the continents. These include a Giant Redwood from North America, Antarctic beech from South America, Wollemi pine from Australia. This will give each area within the new arboretum a theme of a continent where the design would be to show each of the continents from above. The trees are planted with robust stakes and guards, irrigation tubes, bark mulch and will be watered. The programme also links to Edinburgh’s commitment to becoming a net-zero carbon city by 2030 and the Edinburgh Million Tree City aims. There are 5 panels explaining more about the trees.

Here is more information on the RBGE conservation programme. International Conifer Conservation Programme | Genetics & Conservation | Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (rbge.org.uk)

The plans for the site can be viewed by clicking on this link  Leith Links Arboretum design plan

At a time when 40 per cent of all known plant species are in danger of extinction, our combined goals are to conserve them, both in their natural habitats and ex-situ, and to encourage a desire by members of the public to engage more with nature and protect the planet for future generations. This kind of project can be inspirational, which is why it deserves to be supported.” Hannah Wilson, Head of the International Conifer Conservation Project at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Funded by: City of Edinburgh, Mushroom Trust


  • Run a consultation with the local community
  • Plant a variety of 52 trees
  • Provide conservation information about the trees


  • Improved biodiversity of the park
  • Improved appearance of the park
  • Help conserve rare trees
  • Increase the knowledge on the benefits of trees