'Last hurrah' for Edinburgh's Saughton Park

Edinburgh’s historic Saughton Park is counting down to a major facelift with a series of events for the whole family.

The range of activities will mark the final weeks before the park’s closure to enable a £5.7m restoration project to get underway. The year-long programme aims to bring the century-old park back to its former glory, supported by £3.8m of National Lottery Fund funding, which was approved last year.

Events will kick off with a charity butterfly release this weekend (Saturday, 10 June) in aid of the charity SiMBA, which offers support to those affected by the loss of a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth.Saughton restoration project

On Sunday, 11 June from 12 to 5pm, the Friends of Saughton Park group will host a ‘last hurrah’ garden party ahead of work commencing, featuring arts and crafts, a secret poetry trail, live music and the park’s renowned teddy bear hunt. 

The following weekend, the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, better known as the Caley, will hold a gardening day and plant sale in the winter garden, 10am to 4pm on Sunday, 17 June.

David Jamieson, Parks and Greenspace Manager, said: “The next few weeks mark a pivotal time for Saughton Park, as we prepare to commence this major programme of work, which has been under development for the last few years.

“Over this period we have had a great deal of engagement with the local community and partners, so it is fitting that we’ve been able to involve the public in the final few weeks before the refurbishment gets underway. We now look forward to joining together to celebrate its completion next year.”

Shona Nelson, Chair of Friends of Saughton Park, said: “The Friends of Saughton Park, which also includes History and Community Garden groups, are very excited that the redevelopment work is about to start. We are all passionate about the park and can't wait for all the amazing changes to happen.  Our Last Hurrah Garden Party will be our final community event until the park reopens and we hope it will be lots of fun for families in the local area and beyond.”
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Proposals for Saughton Park’s revamp were first drawn up in 2013 and have since been developed in more detail by designers Ironside Farrar, alongside architects Sutherland Hussey Harris and Richard Shorter, in consultation with the local community.

Amongst improvements are the restoration of the park’s walled garden, the refurbishment of the winter garden and the reinstatement of an original bandstand. A new cafe and public toilet facilities will also be built as well as a viewpoint at the Water of Leith and improved play facilities.

Consultation is also currently underway on new cycle routes linking the park with the city centre, which will be complemented by £500,000 recently awarded to the Saughton Park Restoration Project by Sustrans Community Links programme. Funding will enable upgrades to the park’s path network and off-road links around the neighbourhood.

In addition, the Council has been working with the Caley to explore how the park can be used as a base for their administration and a wide range of activities. As part of this, the old stable block and courtyard will be restored as a community venue, offices, a volunteer bothy and demonstration gardens.

It is anticipated that the newly restored park will be fully opened by August 2018. Find out more about the project on the Council website.

Find out more about the Saughton Park project on the Council website.

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