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Contact Details

Address: Water of Leith Visitor Centre, 24 Lanark Road Edinburgh EH14 1TQ

Telephone: 0131 455 7367

Fax: 0131 443 1682


Opening Times

The visitors centre is open every day from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Except Christmas and New Year - Closed from 24th Dec to 3rd January.

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In addition to our Centre-based programme, you can now book our Education Officer to come to your school to deliver one of our unique Winter Outreach Programmes

November - March only (at your School)

Your Local Environment                     P3-P7 

(For schools with walking distance of the river)       

What did the environment around your school look like 12,000 years ago? Or 120 years ago? What are some of the plants and animals that live and grow along the river banks? Who were some interesting or famous people who used to live right next door? In this bespoke programme, our education officer soends the day with your class to help you find out more about your local environment.

Half Day Programme - In a classroom-based workshop before break, pupils find out about the river in their own community before going for a walk to the river to find out more.

Full Day Programme - This workshop combines the classroom experience and walk detailed above with a river-based art activity after lunch.

The Plants and Wildlife of the Water of Leith                                 P1-P4

Stroke a badger pelt, investigate life under the surface of the water with a freshwater invertebrate sample, and smell the fishy odour of otter spraint. This hands-on workshop brings the plants and animals of the Water of Leith to your classroom whilst also teaching children about food chains, life cycles, and the ways in which we as people can look after the plants and animals living on the river. One hour.

Food Chains on the Water of Leith                                                  P3-S2

From algae, to mayfly nymph, to trout, to heron: this workshop teaches students about the many food chains on the river and the ways in which ecological communities are interdependent. Students investigate a freshwater sample for invertebrate life, observe a mummified Pipistrelle bat, and examine the contents of an owl pellet. Younger classes take on the role of different plants and animals in ‘The Great Water of Leith Food Chain Game.’ Older classes act as environmental consultants with real-life scenarios of disruptions to the food chain on the river. They discuss the potential impact of both natural and human disruptions and suggest ways in which we as humans can mitigate the impact. One hour.

 The Water Cycle and the Water of Leith                                         P3-S2

The water cycle is central to life on earth and yet it can be quite challenging for students to understand how it actually affects their lives. In this workshop, we look at the vital role of the Water of Leith in the water cycle and explore key concepts such as run-off and evaporation as they apply on the river. Students explore life under the surface of the water with a freshwater invertebrate sample as well learning about the otters that travel the river from its source in the Pentland Hills to the sea. Younger classes participate in our fun quiz game called ‘From Source to Sea and Back Again.’ Older classes examine potential natural and human disruptions to the water cycle in the form of real-life scenarios. One hour.


Outreach Programme

One hour £25

Half day   £50

Full day    £75