Community engagement boosts Winchburgh project

WINCHBURGH residents, who nurtured saplings during the pandemic, have now planted their trees to create an area of community woodland as part of the new 85-acre Auldcathie Park.

Due to changes in the construction schedule caused by Covid-19, the trees had to be adopted and cared for by locals until the ground was ready for them.

The trees were planted by the Winchburgh Community Growing Group volunteers and are part of their wider community growing, which has seen them this year enter Beautiful Scotland, part of Keep Scotland Beautiful, for the first time.

John West, co-founder of the Winchburgh Community Growing Group, said, “We’re delighted to be involved in this year’s awards as we have worked hard with the community planters over the last three years. The awards are a testament to the support of Winchburgh locals making the Auldcathie Park a special place with the community at heart.

“With the support of Penny from Winchburgh Developments, the community were involved in designing the new landscaped area and have a real ownership and pride in the park. Adopting the trees over lockdown has linked the community to the park forever and the tagged trees can be revisited for many years. Everyone is excited to see how the new park is taking shape and with all the developments that are still to come it’s going to be a great asset for the whole village.”

Over 15,000 trees and shrubs will be planted in the Auldcathie Park as part of phase 1, due to open in September. A further 15,000 will be planted in phase 2 next year.

Penny Lochhead, community, sports and greenspace manager for Winchburgh Developments Ltd, said, “The community’s engagement from the outset to provide the full design ideas and concept is something that we’re really proud of being able to deliver. The passion and commitment shown by the growers is a tribute to the spirit in the village, something which makes it stand out as a much more than just another regeneration project.”

Spanning 352 hectares, Winchburgh is one of the largest placemaking projects currently underway in the UK, featuring plans to deliver at least 3,800 homes, improved transport links, employment opportunities, schools and outdoor spaces.