Royal Edinburgh Hospital Greenspace Management Plan

Royal Edinburgh Hospital Greenspace Management Plan

Greenspace and access improvements to hospital grounds to help improve people’s health and wellbeing

The Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) received funding from the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, part of NHS Lothian, to create a Greenspace Management Plan (GMP) for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (REH) with the aim of gaining a Green Flag Award (GFA). The GFA provides a framework for good management of parks and publicly accessible open spaces and offers a criterion to evaluate the opportunities and limitations of a particular site with a view towards valuing greenspace, protecting and enhancing it. This will be the first GMP created for an NHS site in Edinburgh and the Lothians, and, the first to gain a GFA.

The REH is a fantastic site with an interesting history, a variety of greenspace, engaged audiences and active third sector groups. The GMP aims to recognise the site’s successes but also identify areas for improvement. It is hoped this project will pave the way for other NHS sites to follow suit based on its successes and learning and perhaps result in more Green Flags at NHS sites.

Greenspace Management Plan

ELGT appointed HERE+NOW, a team of landscape architects with experience in greenspace management plans, park design and greenspace enhancement strategies, to jointly create the plan. ELGT also worked with key partners and stakeholders at the REH to gather information for, and feedback on the plan. To see the plan, click here.




Green Flag Award

We were delighted that the site at REH has been awarded a Keep Scotland Beautiful Green Flag Award which acknowledges how greenspaces can help to boost health and wellbeing. This makes the Royal Edinburgh the first hospital in Scotland to achieve this. The international Green Flag Award is designed as a benchmark for good outdoor recreational spaces.

The greenspaces are very important to us in NHS Lothian as they enable both our staff and patients to connect with nature, which helps with mental and general wellbeing. As the site evolves to meet future healthcare needs our greenspace management plan will ensue nature continues to be at the heart of the site. Tracey McKigen, Services Director for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Associated Services in NHS Lothian

Funded by: Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation


  • Ran 2 consultation
  • Produced a Greenspace Management Plan
  • Achieved a Green Flag Award
  • Implementation of the Greenspace Management Plan



  • Greater greenspace engagement with NHS staff, patients and visitors
  • Greater engagement with the surrounding community in the hospital’s greenspace and activities
  • Increase accessibility to the hospital’s greenspaces
  • Improve biodiversity
  • Help improve green networks
  • Enable key stakeholders to participate and have greater control over the development of the hospital’s greenspace