Our aim is to save as many green space around Sighthill/Gorgie as possible. It is much harder for a local authority or developer to build on a site which is well-loved and well-used, and designated as such. Underused and forgotten spaces are easy prey for predatory developers.
Our advice is to take action first. Act before these spaces are threatened. If you are out on a walk, keep an eye out for these kind of spaces:
Any tired, sad, neglected open space
The fringe of a park with a spare skip and fly-tipped furniture
A bit of woodland at the back of your estate
The neglected triangle of land behind a railway track where your kids play
Anywhere nature has taken over.
Make a note, take a photo, inform us, and we will support you in protecting it. A valued, recognised green space is far easier to protect than "waste" ground, and it benefits the whole community.
Slashing their budgets, local authorities are desperate for the quick hit of cash promised by property developers (and their investors), most of whom have no interest or stake in the communities of Sighthill and Gorgie. Our public spaces are at unprecedented risk of neglect and commercial exploitation, but we can take action to prevent this.
HAGSA are calling for the City of Edinburgh Council to take on the statutory duty of protecting these vital public assets - providing, managing and maintaining parks and open spaces.
PROTECTING PUBLIC SPACES
"Greenspaces are our natural health service, our children’s outdoor classrooms and town’s green lungs."
PROTECTING OUR PUBLIC PARKS
One way to get involved is joining a 'Friends of' group for your local park. Edinburgh Council has a list of existing groups here.
Don't worry if your park doesn't have such a group yet - the City of Edinburgh Council has advice on that too. If you want to see the work this kind of group can do, look no further than the Friends of Saughton Park!
We are currently seeking support to establish a 'Friends of Redhall Park' group, in response to the recent damage there caused by months of flooding. If you live near Redhall Park or use it regularly, please consider how a 'Friends of' Group could help you and those around you, and protect this park from further damage in the future and any potential commercial development.
LITTLE FREE LIBRARY
Another way to turn underused or "waste" spaces into an asset for the community (and deny developers a way in!) is to create a small sharing library. The concept is simple: 'Take a Book. Leave a Book'.
A UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh already has several such free libraries (see here for a late 2019 blog listing them). For advice on setting one up, 'Little Free Library' is full of detailed advice!