Meadowfield Park is a sizeable open space in the Craigentinny & Duddingston area of Edinburgh, next to Holyrood Park. This site has stunning views across the Forth, but in 2009 the park was lacking in equipment and features and was not as well used as it could be. The existing play area was in a poor state and in need of refurbishment and a group of local parents decided to get active in lobbying the council for improvements to the area.
Following the success of the Barony Community Garden project, ELGT was approached by the Meadowfield Play Improvement group, asking if the Trust could undertake consultation and fundraising for the project to get it started. The group secured funds from the Craigentinny & Duddingston Neighbourhood Partnership Community Grants Fund to carry out this initial phase.
The Consultation was carried out by ELGT staff, with two visits to Parson’s Green Primary School, which is opposite the park. We consulted four classes, using Participatory Appraisal techniques and we also consulted the local Residents’ Association and Youth Club on plans for the park. All findings were collated into a comprehensive document, which was presented to the community group and City of Edinburgh Council.
On Saturday 20th November 2010, over 200 people from the community surrounding Meadowfield Park, came together to celebrate the opening of the newly improved play park, with children and adults taking part in a range of fun activities including eco-kite making, a bike obstacle course, nature and active school activities and the opportunity to take bikes for an ‘MOT’.
The play area now boasts a refurbished flying fox, slide, buddy swing, space net, balancing beam and a newly created biodiverse wetland area with viewing platform. Other improvements include the installation of benches and litter bins.
The improvements were made possible thanks to funding from WREN and the City of Edinburgh Council and Phase 2 of the project, the installation of a bike trail, will be carried out in early 2011.
Trust Community Projects Officer Esperanza Martin says: “The community event was a great opportunity to celebrate all the hard work that has gone into improving this fantastic park. ELGT’s work is all about encouraging people to get out, get active and discover their local greenspace and now Meadowfield Park will give local children the opportunity to spend time outside and reap the benefits of outdoor play”.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environmental Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I was delighted to see the opening of this unique and exciting play area. Not only will it benefit local children but the wider community will be able to enjoy an improved greenspace.”
Caroline Sanderson, Grants Manager for WREN said “we are delighted to have contributed to the transformation of Meadowfield Park into such an exciting and attractive play area.”