Local families gathered to plant the first of 1000 new trees in the 85-acre Auldcathie District Park in Winchburgh.

Over 150 families braved the cold to plant trees in an area of community woodland to celebrate Winchburgh’s residents, old and new. The trees, gifted to the Winchburgh Community Growers by I Dig Trees, were planted along with the remaining saplings, saved and nurtured by the community throughout the pandemic.

The locals and Community Growers were joined by John Hamilton, CEO of Winchburgh Developments Ltd, and the Winchburgh Wombles who recently received the Clean Up Scotland Hero Award for local resident Aileen Murdoch’s weekly litter-picking.

John West, Co-Founder of the Winchburgh Community Growing Group, said: “It’s been brilliant to see so many families come together to plant the trees. It’s been a real community effort and, with the help of QR codes for each planted tree, we hope everyone can revisit their trees and watch them grow for years to come.”

Aileen Murdoch of the Winchburgh Wombles said: “The event today has been such a nice opportunity to come together and celebrate everyone’s hard work. Receiving the Clean Up Scotland award was a great early Christmas present, and it shows just how much pride the locals have in their community.”

Almost half of the 85-acre park is now open, allowing locals and visitors to enjoy the equivalent of 13 football pitches of green space which they can now access via additional routes from the B9080. Auldcathie District Park also offers grassed playing areas, new walking and running routes, an enclosed dog park and community garden.

John Hamilton, CEO, Winchburgh Developments Ltd, commented: “Auldcathie District Park is a great asset to Winchburgh, and I’m pleased more of the park is open just in time for Christmas. It’s great to celebrate all the hard work of the community, the Growers, and the Wombles and am glad that they can now enjoy even more quality outdoor space.”

The final park, to be completed in 2023, will be more than twice the size of Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens. It will see a further 15,000 trees planted and include a variety of different open spaces including a dedicated bike park, additional paths and fitness trails, extensive wildlife areas and a community orchard. The viewing areas on higher ground will afford long-range views across Winchburgh and to the Forth bridges beyond. On completion, a café with public toilets will be located in the centre of the park.

Auldcathie District Park will be situated adjacent to the new schools’ campus area, which is located on the south-east boundary of the park site. With good connections between the park and schools’ campus, these ‘schools in the park’ will feature playing fields and synthetic sports pitches, providing a quality learning environment for future pupils.

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.

Any enquires should be directed to Penny Lochhead, Community, Sports and Greenspace Manager on 07802 500991 or [email protected].