Coalie Park Phase 1 is complete – we had a wee re-opening ceremony to celebrate

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On 22nd May we took some time to celebrate all that has been achieved so far at Coalie Park with Phase 1 of the transformation complete. The local community, delivery partners and funders all gathered to celebrate. Cllr Val Walker did the honours of untying the ribbon. Huge thank you to all involved.

The Coalie Park Improvement Project, driven by the Water of Leith Conservation Trust, is a community-led initiative to enhance green and blue spaces for the people and wildlife of Leith. It has also upgraded a section of National Cycle Network Route 75, creating a safe, attractive and alternative route for residents and visitors to the area.

Phase 1 of this project was backed by funding from Paths for All Ian Findlay Fund, the Place Based Investment Programme (administered by the City of Edinburgh Council), Leith Community Fund, Avondale Environmental (Scottish Landfill Communities Fund), the Mushroom Trust and from the Scottish Government through a partnership between Water of Leith Conservation Trust and Sustrans.

For the past three years the Water of Leith Conservation Trust  (WOLCT) has engaged with the local community and users of Coalie Park to create a space which celebrates the history and heritage of the area, improves access for all and creates meaningful habitat improvements for wildlife.

The improvements include:

  • New riverside amphitheatre style steps and an access ramp
  • New benches and seating suitable for different users
  • A fully upgraded and improved path surface, including a beautiful section of resin bonded gravel depicting the river as a ‘silver thread’
  • Cycle parking installed along the route
  • The installation of two Biomatrix platforms – floating ecosystems anchored to the bank of the river to create an in-stream habitat – in the water
  • Planting of a new hedgerow, three new oak trees, a meadow and ‘coastal’ themed planters – all helping pollinators.

With Phase 1 complete, the space will achieve its potential and become a valuable recreational space. The path upgrades have created a safer alternative for people walking, wheeling and cycling to reach nearby destinations, engage in exercise and travel to other parts of the city. It has also improved the connectivity of National Cycle Network Route 75 which links Scotland’s two largest cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The design was created in consultation with the local community by Liz Thomas and WOLCT and developed further by TP&E in autumn 2023. Contractor P1 began construction at the end of November 2023, and worked throughout the wet winter transforming the space which was returned to the public on 10th May 2024.

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