This is where you’ll find news about the various environmental projects we have been or will be involved in!

Volunteers from the Heart have been involved with several projects already, in collaboration with other groups and we know there are many groups out there, each doing their bit for the environment. We’d like to encourage them to collaborate with each other and with us, and perhaps use this page as a way of linking up and sharing ideas.

Together we can create a wonderful environment for the whole community.

Scroll down to find out more about what has been done so far.


1. Mini orchard in Victoria Park

By the beech hedge on the left, at the top of the slope running up from the Craighall Road railway bridge there are currently two fruit trees, the survivors of a planting by the ECC community garden officers a few years ago.

There is now a plan to create a mini community orchard in this area. The project is supported by the Friends of Victoria Park and The Heart of Newhaven.

Trinity Academy and Trinity Primary will be invited to choose a class or club to take part in the planting and tending of eight fruit trees under instruction from the local community gardens officer. The trees will come from Scottish Heritage Fruit Trees and we will invite a representative from the company to talk to the students. The trees will be native and unusual varieties, thus increasing biodiversity in the park. We are keen to increase biodiversity and community use of the park, and especially keen to involve the students in valuing and caring for it. If successful, we would hope to plant more fruit trees in the future, in other parts of the park.

We hope that everyone who uses the park will enjoy the trees at all seasons of the year.

2. Wilding Project on Western Harbour

Under instruction from experts from the RBGE and the Edinburgh Shoreline Project, pupils from Victoria Primary School helped to plant 50 native Scottish shrubs and trees and the grassy mounds between the David Lloyd Centre and the sea. The intention is to create a wild area of coastal scrub which will encourage insects and birds, thus enhancing a largely barren area for the benefit of both humans and wildlife.

The trees are currently small and vulnerable and have been protected with plastic tubes, but we hope to remove these in due course.

Back in the classroom, the children created illustrations of the birds that might be seen around the area and these have been incorporated into an informative banner, which will be fixed to the fence. 


Fruit tree planting in Victoria Park

To enhance the area, by adding beauty, interest and biodiversity, pupils from Trinity High and Trinity Primary Schools will be helping to plant some young fruit trees in Victoria Park this winter. There are already a couple of small trees in situ, so we will be adding to  those to create a mini orchard. The trees will be  Scottish heritage fruit trees, specially chosen for the site, and will include apple, pear and plum.  Each one will have its own protective cage, provided by Edinburgh City Council, and the pupils will learn from a Royal Botanic Gardens representative how best to plant and care for them.

We hope to work on more tree-planting and wilding projects in the future, not just  in the parks and but in the more built-up parts of our neighbourhood, where urban nature needs some encouragement.

Lucy Metcalfe (September 2021)

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