On 3rd October we hosted our first event at Coalie Park in Leith – to raise awareness of our project to improve the area, gain feedback on the plans so far from local people and have some fun. With a ‘Coalie Conversation’ tent we presented ideas for the future, there was lots of interest and we had dozens of suggestions and feedback ideas which we hope to incorporate in the designs. Citadel Youth Centre and Edinburgh Wheels project were also on hand to explain how the area could be used by young people on land and in the water.
Our practical volunteer team was on hand to make the day fun too. With wildflower bulb planting, a river clean-up game and guess the weight of the litter challenge (collected in the park that morning). HMS Litterpicker was also cruising the basins collecting litter. The fundraising volunteers did a great job with a Plant Sale, Mystery Bottle tombola and book sale – all raising £300. Outdoor learning was also featured with a gazebo of natural objects for children to explore and a fun treasure hunt which 40 families used to explore the park. Finally the heritage of the area was explored with a display of old photos and two guided walks.
It is tricky to tell how many people took part and its a busy area of the walkway, but we estimate that around 300 directly engaged in the activities and presentations with a further 300 taking a passing interest. Thank you to all the volunteers, staff and partners who took part. We have also been overwhelmed by how positive everyone has been to this project. Here are some of the quotes from people who attended.
Very interesting plans. The idea of mixed uses is essential to create a safer, more accessible space for everyone. There is a good balance of exercise (skateboarding, walking and cycling routes) and relaxation without replacing the history of the place
I’d love to see the space even more animated. Events taking place with a real sense of community.
So what is next for the project? The draft design phase. Liz Thomas Landscape Architect will be looking at all the feedback so far and the input received from local groups, the police and stakeholders. If you missed seeing the posters on the day they can be view in google drive https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gxVThy29JGXwgNrcZXsOoKImY-68gBJ7/view?usp=sharing and there is still time to add in your ideas and thoughts.