Little France Park

Little France Park

Woodland creation project at Little France Park, Edinburgh

The project has involved various partners including City of Edinburgh (parks and greenspaces, planning and economic development), PARC Craigmillar (EDI Group), NHS Lothian, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Enterprise, University of Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and the Forestry Commission for Scotland.

The parkland is a key piece of green infrastructure for the city and region and a crucial regeneration tool linking local communities – including Craigmillar, Greendykes and Niddrie to employment opportunities.

Biodiversity

         

This project is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage to help improve the biodiversity of the park. Meadow creation began with tractors preparing the land which was another massive step towards making the area another beacon of wildlife in the heart of Edinburgh, turning a once derelict space into a green utopia. The rejuvenation of a once unused green land into a flourishing and revitalised habitat for birds and wildlife to enjoy is now becoming a reality. The project aims to improve the soils nutrient content of the area and to plant wildflowers which are invaluable to insect pollinators.

A big thank you to corporate volunteers from Scottish Government, The Peregrine Group and staff from CEC Natural Heritage Service for building Little France Park’s first bee bank! The structure will provide important habitat for solitary bees and other pollinator species.  The project involves the creation of the ‘Solitary Bee Nesting’ areas across two small areas by spreading sand/gravel/grit in piles to help accommodate the species.

Active Travel

The active travel route and park project which is valued at over £1.4m has been delivered by the ELGT on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council and was primarily funded by Transport Scotland through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links programme, with matched funding provided by a range of partners including the City of Edinbrugh Council and Scottish Enterprise. The new 2.983km route formalises existing paths in order to link with the new and proposed housing developments in the south east of the city and beyond to the city centre and Craigmillar. It will enable a core cycling and walking route, linking the new neighbourhoods as they come on stream to existing residential and employment areas as well as the new Shawfair railway station on the Borders rail line. This project is an excellent example of where development of an ambitious active travel route can achieve a whole range of outcomes, in the area of transport connectivity, public health, environmental improvement and in providing links between areas of social disadvantage and opportunities for employment and has been used as a CSGN case study http://www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org/campaigns/green-active-travel/green-active-travel-2

This project deliver links to the parkland to encourage the use of the area for informal sports and events and formalising existing paths in order to link with housing developments, a proposed new town centre in Craigmillar, employment prospects at the Royal Infirmary and the Edinburgh BioQuarter, medical facilities and the existing school. The parkland will also connect and realign disjointed existing paths. This is a great opportunity to create a new landscape setting for the city providing opportunities for outdoor recreation which brings social and health benefits to this area. The parkland will be an important part of the green network, providing a focus for local and sub-regional leisure and amenity, improved connectivity and enhanced biodiversity.

 

Wood Land Creation

We have also worked in partnership with the City of Edinburgh to plant 3 hectares of land as part of a woodland planting project. ELGT undertook an SRDP application to secure grant funding to plant up Native Broad-leaves and Scots pine.

 

Community Engagement

The local community have already taken part in planting over 7000 new trees in Little France Park for woodland creation which involved 239 volunteers. Meadow creation has been planned in the grassland areas which involves bringing in the local community and schools as in part of the Edinburgh Living Landscape project.

We worked in partnership with the City of Edinburgh to plant 3 hectares of land as part of a woodland planting project. We also work with Sustrans, City of Edinburgh, Central Scotland Green Network, Development Fund, Scottish Enterprise, NHS Lothian as part of the active travel development. We work with Scottish Rural Development Programme for our woodland creation project and Trees for Cities as part of our community engagement work.

Funded by: Scottish Rural Development Programme

Outputs:

  • 6 Seating areas created
  • 4 cycle hoops installed
  • 5 Notice boards installed
  • 1 Orientation panel installed
  • 80 tree standards planted
  • 1 SRDP Woodland Creation project
  • Planting of 3 hectares of native broad-leaves and 5% Scots pine
  • 800 trees planted
  • 24 volunteers engaged with
  • 3 planting days delivered

Outcomes:

  • Formalised the main routes
  • Improved active travel in the area
  • Help locals to access the hospital and adjacent communities
  • Encourage locals and tourists to enjoy the local environment and placed of interest
  • Improve access provision around the Bio-quarter
  • Improve existing active transport network and improve commuting to work
  • Improved appearance of the park
  • Benefits to wildlife and biodiversity
  • Foster a greater sense of community pride
  • Encouraged community ownership
  • Improve green networks and connectivity
  • Increase woodland cover
  • A visible aesthetic improvement to the landscape which will foster a greater sense of pride of place within the community