Adopted lockdown trees take root as part of new 85 acre District Park

Winchburgh Community Growing Group

Winchburgh residents, who saved and nurtured saplings during the pandemic, have now planted their trees creating an area of community woodland as part of the new 85 acre Auldcathie Park.

Due to changes in the construction schedule caused by COVID, the trees had to be adopted and cared for by green-fingered locals in Winchburgh until the ground was ready for them at the new Auldcathie District Park. Tags and use of ‘What 3 Words’ locators on individual trees will allow the community to check back on the progress of ‘their’ tree for years to come. The trees were part of further growing the community did in their homes over lockdown, such as tomatoes and potatoes, supported by videos on how to grow them developed by the Growing Group.

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. Judging has occurred this week and the Winchburgh community all have their green-fingers crossed for news in the coming weeks.

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 3 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 early September. A further 15,000 will be planted in phase 2 next year. The Park will initially extend to 40 acres and feature over two kilometres of paths and fitness trails, a one-acre community garden, an enclosed dog park and over eleven acres of grassed playing areas with walkways linking to the Union Canal. Further expansion and amenities are planned with the park finally being completed in 2022.

Ian Logan, Associate at Optimised Environments, the landscape designers of the park said: “The contribution from the Winchburgh community to this project has been fantastic. Adding the community woodland to the plan brings a great added dimension to the park and we are excited to see the Community Growers start to work on their acres of the park in the coming months.“

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 delivering at least 3,800 homes, improved transport links, employment opportunities, schools and outdoor spaces.

For more information on the Beautiful Scotland awards see www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/community-and-place/beautiful-scotland/awards-and-medals/

Any enquires should be directed to Penny Lochhead, Community, Sports and Greenspace Manager on 07802 500991 orpenny@winchburghdevelopments.com