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Edinburgh's Shoreline

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Grantee: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

What are we going to do?

Edinburgh’s Shoreline will empower and inspire communities along the city’s coast to lead projects to better understand and share their neighbouring coastal green spaces. People will work together with scientists and designers to share their projects through a major exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in summer 2018.

Where did the idea for the project come from?

For nearly a century, the importance of the coast to Edinburgh was almost forgotten. But it’s an amazing green space with a complex and fascinating history and biodiversity. Many people living near the shoreline, for example in Muirhouse or Leith, don’t actively engage with this natural space for many reasons, but it could become a brilliant resource for communities and nature alike, to be enjoyed and protected. This project is a first step in uniting and empowering communities to enjoy and learn about Edinburgh’s shoreline spaces.

How communities have helped us develop our ideas

Local communities are already engaged in the design and development of this Edinburgh’s Shoreline, as since 2015 local volunteers have developed the project, spending unpaid time finding community groups in coastal neighbourhoods and talking to them about the project.  Working with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh will help the project with the structure and scientific elements it needs to succeed.

How our project fits into the bigger picture

Local people in Edinburgh have local plans to make their neighbourhoods cleaner and greener, to promote healthy lifestyles for all ages, and to promote areas’ unique stories, all of which Edinburgh’s Shoreline will help achieve. We want people to feel proud of their coastal green spaces thanks to this project and to build their skills and knowledge to participate in local planning decisions. In terms of the bigger picture for nature, this project will help build Edinburgh’s resilience to climate change, encourage people to enjoy contact with nature where they live and work, as well as protect the biodiversity found along Edinburgh’s coastline.

Where we would like our project to lead us

Edinburgh’s Shoreline will be the first time the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh works together with our local communities to design and present a major exhibition. We’re excited to be embracing this way of working, and we hope it will lead to more chances for organisations like us to respond and reflect the priorities for plants and habitats that people who live near us care about.

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