Winchburgh pupils plant further 700 trees at Scotland’s largest district park

Pupils at Holy Family RC Primary School planting trees in Winchburgh.Pupils at Holy Family RC Primary School planting trees in Winchburgh.
Pupils at Holy Family RC Primary School planting trees in Winchburgh.
Winchburgh Developments this week welcomed local school children to plant a further 700 trees in the 85-Acre Auldcathie District Park in Winchburgh.

Over 100 P5, 6 and 7 pupils from Winchburgh and Holy Family primaries gathered to help the new trees take root in the community woodland. The saplings were gifted to the Winchburgh Community Growers by conservation charity I Dig Trees.

The children were supported by horticultural students from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), who helped them to make the most of this practical outdoor learning – the first time the pupils have been able to do this in two years.

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Grant Skillen, lecturer in horticulture, SRUC said: "It was fantastic to witness today's horticulture students encouraging the next generation of budding horticulturists in planting native tree species."

Winchburgh Primary School Pupils planting trees.Winchburgh Primary School Pupils planting trees.
Winchburgh Primary School Pupils planting trees.

Ian Harvey, headteacher, Winchburgh Primary School, said: "Our senior pupils were enthusiastic about planting hundreds of the new trees in their new District Park. This has been another example of our pupils living our values and developing skills for life and work."

Colette Murray, headeacher, Holy Family RC Primary School, said: “Everyone had wonderful time planting the trees. It was great to see the children so stimulated by outdoor learning and the SRUC students really engaged them. We look forward to watching the trees grow alongside the pupils.”

Half of the 85-acre park is now open and can be accessed by recently added routes from the B9080. It includes new walking and running routes, a community garden, and a dog park.

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Penny Lochhead, community, sports and greenspace manager, Winchburgh Developments Ltd, commented: “It’s brilliant to see the primary schools gathering to plant more trees. Many of these pupils helped in the original park design and are now part of bringing the park to life by being part of the planting programme.

"From the outset we hoped that, in conjunction with the fabulous Community Growers, we would not just a create a fantastic recreational space, but an important space for learning.”

The park will eventually span more than twice the area of Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens when completed in 2023. 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. It is 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.

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