Volunteers gain funding to restore scenic park in the heart of Edinburgh

A passionate group of volunteers in Edinburgh have upgraded a park’s path network.

Volunteers hard at work

Friends of Seven Acre Park were awarded one of our £1500 Community Paths grants to enable more local people to use the park and become more physically active.

Seven Acre Park offers spectacular views out towards Fife, and you can see many of Edinburgh’s famous landmarks such as Blackford Observatory, Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh Castle.
Supported by the Scottish Government, the group used the money to upgrade previously unusable paths in Seven Acre Park.

Due to walkways being uneven, the existing paths were muddy and waterlogged making them unattractive to visitors and difficult for anyone with a wheelchair or buggy.
The project aimed to attract more locals and visitors to the park after complaints about the state of the paths.

Ronnie Shaw, committee member of Friends of Seven Acre Park said:

The original path was such an inconvenience to park users that they were walking on grass verges to avoid it.
We looked for more funding and were so glad to receive the grant from Paths for All.
I am a daily user of the park so personally experience the impact the grant has had and we’ve received great comments from other users.

The project, which initially proposed upgrading 100m of pathways, was completed in October and received further funding from Edinburgh City Council meaning an extra 90m could be restored.

The enthusiastic volunteers from Friends of Seven Acres Park hoped to encourage local companies to provide volunteers as part of their healthy working policies.

There were 16 volunteers for the project in total, and whilst led by volunteers from Friends of Seven Acre Park, Jacobs Engineering also lent a helping hand with a corporate volunteering day.
Ronnie continued: “We had a group of six employees from Jacobs and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the fresh air, it was a great day.”
The project was carried out over a two-month period and also enlisted the help of a small contractor.

We have awarded £72,560 worth of grants to 44 groups like this across Scotland as part of our Know Your Routes campaign.

From the Isle of Skye to the Scottish Borders, over 700 volunteers will be helping to transform neglected parts of their local path networks and their work is expected to be finished by April.

The money is being used for wide-ranging work including clearing debris, structural improvements, installing signage and lighting, hiring tools or contractors, promoting routes and improving biodiversity along path networks to encourage every day walking and put ‘no-go’ areas back into the hands of the community.

This year’s grant schemes have been funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.

The estimated figure for the community groups’ volunteer in-kind contribution is calculated to be over £271,000.