How you can be a ‘Local Hero’ in Edinburgh – Donald Anderson

Tomorrow residents in south Edinburgh will be out helping make their neighbourhood and the city better.

Saturday, 11th May 2019, 6:00 am
Melanie Aiken, right, and Lucy Manning help clean up Burdiehouse Park (Picture: Toby Williams)

Residents in The Murrays are coming together to help clean up the area and remove plastic and litter from the environment. It’s one of an array of ‘Spring Cleans’ that have been happening all over Edinburgh.

At the Water of Leith 120 people turned out to help clean one of the jewels in Edinburgh’s crown, and 80 people turned out last weekend to clean up the Union Canal. They filled 222 bags with rubbish.

In south Edinburgh nearly 150 volunteers have been out in clean-ups across the area, including more than 20 fabulous kids at Moredun. In a community that’s faced some difficult issues recently, those kids were a reminder that most people in Moredun are wonderful. They are a great credit to their parents and their community. Those kids were inspirational, giving up their Friday afternoon for no other reason than to help make their community better and cleaner.

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1988 Seoul Olympics Coca-Cola can washes up on Edinburgh beach

In Gracemount last weekend Liberton and District Community Council members were out clearing up around Gracemount House and Walled Garden. The area was left spotless and loads of rubbish was removed.

These people are heroes. If you want to join them, then Murrays residents are meeting on Sunday at 11am at the bus stop near the corner of The Murrays and Lasswade Road. Research shows that spending even 20 minutes in a park makes you happier, and I can well believe that.

So, if you’re looking for something to do, head to The Murrays and meet some great people and do some great work too. Go on, join the local heroes.

Our green and pleasant parkland is a tribute to so much hard work

One of the wonderful statistics from the Edinburgh People’s Survey released this week is the fact that more than 80 per cent of residents are satisfied with the city’s parks. There is a lot of green space in Edinburgh, but I’d argue that there’s nowhere in Scotland with such a fine array of parks and green spaces as Edinburgh, and these figures would suggest that residents agree.

Edinburgh is home to nearly half of all the ‘Green Flag’ parks in Scotland. To get a Green Flag a park needs to meet extremely high standards of maintenance and cleanliness. That’s an astonishing achievement. That’s a tribute to the excellent work done by parks staff and by volunteers in a small army of Friends Groups throughout the city.

Edinburgh also benefits from some amazing work by Edinburgh and Lothian’s Greenspace Trust, a charitable organisation that’s been working for decades to help make our green spaces and parks even better.

I promised myself that I’d try and visit all the city’s parks in the coming months, but there are so many it’s likely to take me years. I will be popping back to Seven Acre Park which enjoys some of the finest views in Europe stretching from the Forth Bridges to North Berwick Law, and I’ll head for Figgate Park which has otters that have become a local phenomenon, with wildlife photographers competing to capture images of what must be the city’s cutest residents.

Our parks are a beacon of excellence. We all need to get out more and enjoy them.