Have your say on Saughton Park restoration
Members of the public are being asked for their opinions to help shape the future of one of Edinburgh’s most historic parks.
A survey, launched at the beginning of Love Parks Week last Friday (25 July), will ask visitors to Saughton Park what they think about the facilities and features the park has to offer.
Feedback from the survey will be analysed and used to inform the design plan for the proposed £5.3 million restoration of the park, which would see it restored to its former glory.
Considered one of Edinburgh’s six ‘premier parks’, Saughton was originally established as part of Saughton Hall in the 17th century, before being purchased by the Council and opened to the public between 1900 and 1905.
In 1908 it was redesigned for the Scottish National Exhibition, resulting in a range of new features, including sporting facilities, a bandstand and winter and botanical gardens.
A project to restore the park now aims to renovate these historic elements, and last year secured almost £400,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a design plan and to prepare a bid for funding to implement this.
The results of the survey, which will run until 30th September, will inform the project team on who uses the park and how they use it, and will allow them to ensure any proposals will be beneficial to current and future visitors.
Environment Vice Convener, Councillor Adam McVey, said: “Saughton Park might not be as well-known across the city as Princes Street Gardens but it is undoubtedly one of our hidden jewels, with a fantastic range of gardens and sports facilities.
“However, this space also has an incredible wealth of history which deserves to be recognised. I would encourage anyone who uses the park – or thinks they might like to – to participate in this survey and help us make the most of it.”
Amongst the proposed improvements are the restoration of the park’s walled garden, bandstand and stables for community use, improvements to sports pitches and circuits for walking and running and the active management all trees, woodlands and hedges.
To help raise awareness, the Friends of Saughton Park have organised two free events, beginning with the launch of the Saughton Park Geocache Trail at 11am on Tuesday 29th July. The trail has been installed throughout the park in partnership with the Geocaching Association of Great Britain, and allows participants to use GPS devices to locate interesting spots around the park, where they can find boxes filled with keepsakes left by other ‘geocachers’ as well as interesting facts about the area.
On Wednesday 30th July the Friends will stage the first ‘Great Saughton Bear Hunt’ between 10am and 4pm, when children and families will search for 30 bears hidden around the park, with prizes for the first 10 participants who find all of the bears.
The Saughton Park survey is also accessible on the Council website, with paper copies available at Saughton Park Winter Gardens, Edinburgh Leisure Saughton Sports Complex, Balgreen and Fountainbridge Libraries, Carrickvale Community Centre, Health All Round (Westfield) and Dunedin Canmore House (at the Reception at 8 New Mart Road).