May 14, 2012

Midlothian Greenspace Improvement Plans

Locations:
Midlothian
Types:
Greenspace for Living, Urban Greening
Funds:
CSGN Development Fund
Contacts:
James Kinch
Lead Partners:
Midlothian Council

Context

Midlothian Council was awarded £16,680 to develop improvement plans for 5-6 selected greenspaces in areas of multiple deprivation in Dalkeith, Mayfield/Easthouses and Gorebridge, so that they contribute more fully to community life. Initial improvement works will then be undertaken on site according to the plans. In 2015, Midlothian Council received a £16,000 to transform unused greenspace in Gorebridge into a new park, which was completed in 2016, as part of the restoration and improvement of derelict greenspace in the centre of Gorebridge project.

Project background

The restoration and improvement of derelict greenspace in the centre of Gorebridge project was set up to improve the quality of 2.2 ha open space within the heart of Gorebridge. 

Gorebridge is a town in Midlothian, 10 miles south of Edinburgh. The former mining town has seen a recent regeneration, following the reinstatement of the Borders Railway and the Greening Gorebridge project. Despite this, a large area of greenspace beside Gorebridge Primary school had become derelict as a result of latent mine workings. The area of Gorebridge containing the derelict site is within the top 15% of indices of multiple deprivation.

How the project was delivered

Of the 2.2 ha space that was restored, 0.9 ha was derelict and had been fenced off as dangerous. Funds of 65k were secured to geo-grid the site to make it safe. This enabled work to begin on the open space. This included woodland creation – achieved through community planting days; creation of a community orchard – with help of local community group Gorebridge Cares, and wildflower/grassland areas – created with local community groups. The park’s facilities were also improved with the creation of a 2.5m wide multi-use asphalt path, and new park frontages comprising of metal bowtop fencing and ornamental gates to create a more welcoming and attractive entrance.

Key facts and figures

  • 8 ha of land upgraded within centre of town.
  • 3,330m2 of Woodland Creation (3m centres no wider than 15m, native species non-conforming mix).
  • 525m2 of orchard creation (species include Malus sp, prunus sp).
  • 2800m2 of wildflower grassland.
  • 3300m2 native shrub planting.
  • 195m of 2.5m wide multi-use path connecting open space to town centre and other facilities.
  • 95m of ornamental fencing (inc gates) to provide welcoming threshold to site.
  • 15 no specimen standard trees to provide welcoming quality threshold to the site.

Project outcomes

The restoration and improvement of derelict greenspace in the centre of Gorebridge project has created a park that can be enjoyed by local residents for years to come. Whereas the site had previously been underused and derelict, the project has now created a community focal point that provides Gorebridge residents with a place to feel good about. The improvements to the environment of the site create a valuable green space that will continue to provide benefits to Gorebridge for years to come.

Quotes from participants and beneficiaries

Ellen Scott, who chairs the local community group, Gorebridge Cares, said: “I am very happy that the park is now open and this lovely green space, with its views to the Pentlands, can be enjoyed by everyone in Gorebridge. The park held so many happy memories for the older people of the village and I am sure they will be pleased that these memories and traditions can be carried on by future generations.  I hope this park will grow and blossom in the future into a really special place."

Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, said: “We are very proud to have played our part in transforming this underutilised area to create a valuable greenspace in Gorebridge that will be used by many generations to come.

Funding Details:

Year Fund Value
2012 CSGN Development Fund 16,680
2015 CSGN Development Fund 16,000

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