At the end of the tidal flow of Edinburgh’s river lies Coal Hill – a coal depot, railway yard and place for ship repair. Regenerated in the 1980s, the area became known as Coalie Park. The site is an important ‘blue and green space’ and access route for the local community while being home to a surprising variety of wildlife. But there is great pressure on this dilapidated space now plagued by littering, graffiti and anti-social behaviour. Leith is also one of the most densely populated areas in Scotland and lacks quality greenspace for its residents and wildlife. During this project, we aim to:
- Enhance the ‘blue and green space’ for biodiversity.
- Improve the flow of user movement and re-establish peoples’ connection with the Water of Leith.
- Engage with local people and interested groups to see what practical steps can be taken to improve the area, what improvements local people would like to see in the area going forward.
To improve the area in 2020/21 a Landscape Proposals Document was produced by ELGT which was then used a mechanism for capturing feedback and for a period of consultation. Due to COVID this was presented online and driven by social media and a local poster campaign. This consultation was dubbed the ‘Coalie Conversation’, a frank conversation which needed to be had with the community and stakeholders to help finalise design ideas so funding the transformation can begin. This was completed in March and 450 people participated in an overwhelmingly positive way. A summary of the results are in the infographic below.
To drive this project forward we have formed the Coalie Collective – a project steering group made up from landowners, stakeholders, community group and local people. This group includes; Edinburgh and Lothian’s Greenspace Trust, City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Water, The Community Council, Friends of the Water of Leith Basin, SOS Leith, Leith Lates, Citadel Youth Centre, and the Community Police.
The next stage is a community and funday and event in the park set for Sunday 3rd October 1pm to 4pm – We hope you can join us.