Author Archives: justin

PEDAL AGM: 7 to 8pm, Wednesday 12th September

PEDAL Transition Town Annual General Meeting

We would be delighted if you could attend the 2018 Annual General Meeting of PEDAL — Transition Town, to be held in the Front Garden Room in Bellfield Church, Portobello

Everyone is welcome.


Minutes of 2017 AGM

Chair’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Election of Board Members

Report on cur­rent work

  • Apple Network
  • Brighton Park Market
  • Donkeyfield Orchard

Updates and dis­cus­sion on future work

  • Community Shop
  • Can we get Porty off petrol?

Join us at PEDAL’s 10th AGM

7 – 9pm, Monday 13th June 2016
Dalriada pub, back room
PEDALing Truths? How PEDAL began and what we’ve done since:
How has the world and Portobello changed and what’s needed next?
Here are the minutes of last year’s AGM for your delectation.

Minutes of the PEDAL AGM held on 21 April from 7 – 9 pm at St James church hall, Rosefield Place.

Attendees: Diana Cairns, Ian Cooke, Gillian Dunn, Stephen Hawkins, Ian Humphrey, Justin Kenrick, Gordon McCulloch, Eva Schonveld, Gillian Wilson, Neil Woodward.

No apo­lo­gies were received.

1 Introduction 

The chair wel­comed every­one to the meeting.

2 Minutes of the 2014 AGM

The minutes were accep­ted as a true record of the pre­vi­ous AGM, pro­posed by Diana Cairns and seconded by Gordon McCulloch.

There were no mat­ters arising from the minutes.

3 Treasurer’s report

A copy of the accounts that have been sub­mit­ted to Companies House was cir­cu­lated. Income is steady.  We had great­er costs last year but this year PEDAL has made a trad­ing sur­plus, with the res­ult that we have had to pay cor­por­a­tion tax of £159.38.

There is £5,200 in the account that is resid­ual from the CARES grant for the PEDAL con­tri­bu­tion to the wind turbine.

It was agreed that the AGM should be held at a dif­fer­ent time next year so that the final­ised end of year accounts can be approved at the AGM.

4 Election of board members

Ian Cooke stood down from the board because of work and oth­er com­mit­ments.  He was thanked for all his hard work, his skill and his wisdom.

Justin Kenrick and Diana Cairns stood down and were re-elec­ted to the board.  Justin Kenrick was nom­in­ated by Stephen Hawkins and seconded by Diana Cairns.  Diana Cairns was nom­in­ated by Eva Schonveld and seconded by Neil Woodward. 

5 Chair’s report

Eva Schonveld explained that PEDAL has done a great job in main­tain­ing the com­munity’s Market and Orchard, as well as explor­ing how to expand our grow­ing spaces. We have had a lower key year than expec­ted because PEDAL had been con­sid­er­ing com­munity con­sulta­tion and how to go about it if and when the tur­bine applic­a­tion is approved and money starts to come through.  The tur­bine is not cer­tain to go ahead so we have dropped back in our efforts to start con­sulta­tion.  The pro­cess has been frus­trat­ing as we have been wait­ing for a long time to find out wheth­er or not the pro­ject would go ahead.

Some mem­bers of the board had been on a trip to West Kilbride last sum­mer, which has branded itself a craft town.  We met com­munity mem­bers and learned about their activ­it­ies and projects. 

6 Update on projects/activities

a) Turbine

We have been told that the recom­mend­a­tion is likely to be for approv­al of the tur­bine applic­a­tion, which will be con­sidered in the first half of May. The plan­ning per­mis­sion lasts three years but build­ing can­’t hap­pen until the issue of radar for Highland and Islands (H & I) air­port is resolved. It will cost £800,000 so we can­’t afford it.  Another option is radar blank­ing which would cost £25,000 but that only oper­ates in con­trolled air­space, which H & I air­port is not the moment.  Ian sug­ges­ted that we could com­bine efforts and resources with oth­er groups in a sim­il­ar position. 

Justin sug­ges­ted we stop think­ing about the tur­bine as a pro­ject that may hap­pen and so lib­er­ate our atten­tion for oth­er projects. 

Action: Get in touch up with Tom Black about who is going to fol­low up on this. We need to tell the com­munity here about what is hap­pen­ing after 1 May. 

Justin said he had prom­ised not to fol­low up on Seafield until we had exhausted this aven­ue but now pro­posed we think about under­tak­ing that. 

Action: Ian — speak to Matt Roy at Greener Leith about Seafield. Veolia (land own­ers) clearly feels a degree of guilt and is think­ing of a water turbine. 

b) Growing spaces:

Electric bun­ga­low com­munity garden on Bath Street got bull­dozed overnight by the own­ers which was very sad. The most act­ive pro­ject is the High Street Surgery garden, where the Doctors are very keen on a com­munity garden.   Plans are being drawn up but the land­lords have changed so their per­mis­sion will need to be sought. The oth­er garden is the long thin strip of land over the road from Towerbank play­ground. It is wait­ing for someone with energy. The school is keen. 

Pizza oven group — Joel’s plan is to make a mobile pizza oven which will live in Earthy’s back yard.  This should be going ahead over the next few weeks.

c) Bees

Bees have an ill­ness — chalk brood — which weak­ens the colony.  The bee­keep­ers will need to get a new nucleus.

d) Market

The mar­ket is keep­ing its head above water how­ever, although if we start to be charged a rent by the Council then we’d have to look at the viab­il­ity of it. Its suc­cess is down to Graham’s hard work and innovations. 

At the moment we have between 25 and 30 traders and it is able to con­tin­ue for anoth­er three or four years but we are hop­ing to get a wider range of traders into the mar­ket to make it more viable.   People come to the mar­ket wheth­er or not it is good weath­er and full of people (it only does­n’t work if it is com­pletely chuck­ing it down). 

The new elec­tric­al sup­ply to Brighton Park has only been in use for three months. It’s used for the hand wash and for cook­ing but we need to get traders to come who can use it. 

There’s a con­cern about access to stor­age and use of the tables and chairs once/if St James church hall is sold. 

Ian says he is happy to con­tin­ue con­trib­ut­ing to the research on the market. 

e) Orchard

The site is doing very nicely. We have settled down into hold­ing two events a year: (1) Apple Day in October atten­ded by 100 people; (2) Wassailing day in January with singing and christen­ing of the trees with cider for a fruit­ful har­vest.  It’s look­ing like an orch­ard now with Irish, French, Dutch, English, Swedish, Welsh, American and Scottish apple trees. It is self-fin­an­cing with Gordon’s apple juice and chut­ney sales. 

7 Discussions

a) Community spaces:

Graham Acheson will be doing a ses­sion at Big Things on The Beach Imagine Portobello event on 30 May, map­ping what spaces the com­munity uses and how (this ties into the PCC which is also map­ping this).

We under­stand St James is going to be sold in June. Bellfield will be harder to sell because of the grave­yard and lis­ted build­ing status. 

Ian said that we need to think about what space we need; that he would cla­ri­fy with the church what their plans are and what times­cale we have.  Out of the Blue who have the Drill Hall at Leith sur­vives on income gen­er­ated by the Bongo Club.  Any com­munity owned facil­ity here would need sources of fund­ing as well. 

Action: Ian to con­tact the Church, then we check with Graham Acheson re 30 May event, and make that or anoth­er event (e.g. an earli­er event if they are selling in June) the focus for invit­ing people to meet to decide wheth­er to try and do a com­munity buy out. This ties into our land reform agenda.  [Done but unfor­tu­nately no new inform­a­tion was available.]

Action: We agreed to held a meet­ing to dis­cuss how we might pre­serve these assets for the com­munity and that this could flow from the Big Things event on 30 May, if the tim­ing is right.

b) Community charter 

This derives its strength from a piece of EU legis­la­tion that says com­munit­ies have a right to pro­tect their assets. So it’s a state­ment of val­ues, of the assets the com­munity wants to pro­tect, which can be used as a leg­al doc­u­ment to try and influ­ence the plan­ning sys­tem to pro­tect the assets we value.   A com­munity charter has been used by a group in Falkirk at a plan­ning inquiry into an applic­a­tion for frack­ing.  The out­come of the inquiry is not yet known and it will be inter­est­ing to find out what weight (of any) has been put on the charter by the Reporter in his/her decision, and how the com­munity uses the leg­al sys­tem to appeal if the charter is not giv­en weight.

We dis­cussed how PEDAL might want to be involved in the com­munity charter being drawn up by Our Forth.  It was acknow­ledged that a wide base of sup­port is needed for a suc­cess­ful com­munity charter and also that it is dif­fi­cult to engage with an issue like this when there is no imme­di­ate threat.  However, there is still con­cern about frack­ing and uncon­ven­tion­al gas extrac­tion and two loc­al people are mak­ing films about the issue.

There being no fur­ther busi­ness, the meet­ing closed at 9 pm.

Can we Save Bellfield for the community?

Do you want Bellfield Old Parish Church and Halls to stay in com­munity hands for com­munity use?
SAVE BELLFIELD Public Meeting at Tribe above Earthy, Windsor Place
11am Saturday 16th April 2016
Please come to hear about a pro­posed road map to com­munity own­er­ship and to add your sug­ges­tions and ideas
If you’d like to show your sup­port, please let us know you are com­ing by going to this Facebook page:

Numerous won­der­ful spaces have opened up in Portobello over the last few years — wheth­er bakery, bis­tro, green cof­fee van, Tribe Porty, Full Cirqle cir­cus train­ings, or the many many more.


At the same time, cru­cial com­munity spaces, needed for the every­day activ­it­ies that under­pin the well being of our kids, par­ents and older folks are vanishing.


The most recent was Rosefield’s St James Church and halls, where the halls were a won­der­ful gift to the com­munity, enabling all sorts of day time and even­ing chil­dren’s activ­it­ies, as well as for older folk, all at rates that meant none were excluded because of a lack of money.


Rosefield is in the pro­cess of being sold after the mer­ger of the Church of Scotland con­greg­a­tions (St Philips, St James’s and the Old Parish Church, Bellfield) into one Portobello and Joppa Church’ at St Philips. The gift of space to the com­munity that all 3 church halls have been could­n’t con­tin­ue without the com­munity recip­roc­at­ing by filling the pews.


Most of the com­munity groups who pre­vi­ously met at Rosefield were accom­mod­ated in the Old Parish Church and Halls on Bellfield Street. Now the Church sees the need to sell this too.


Shall we just let anoth­er cru­cial shared com­mon space van­ish, while kids focus on screens rather than the big out doors on a wet even­ing, or attend won­der­ful but costly classes many can’t afford? If you are inter­ested in help­ing a com­munity buy out to keep the gift giv­ing then please join us on Saturday 16th April to hear about a pro­posed road map for com­munity own­er­ship, and to con­trib­ute your ideas.

POD need help for the Village fair 2015 to happen!

The Village Show in early September has become a very pop­u­lar event in the Portobello Calendar. POD have recog­nised that they don’t have the capa­city to organ­ise the event this year, unless they find new people to help. If you are inter­ested then please get in touch with POD by mail­ing


Please take a look at this short film.

Our turbine proposals have gone into planning!

It’s up to Highland Council now wheth­er the pro­ject can go ahead, but we’re delighted to have got this far. Below are some details from our press release.

As you will have noticed the Energyshare web­site has­n’t been closed down — Energyshare decided to keep it open after many of the groups fea­tured asked them to do so. So we will con­tin­ue to keep in touch with you in this way — unless you tell us you don’t want to receive these updates.

Community renew­ables pro­ject reaches cru­cial milestone:

A com­munity-owned renew­able energy pro­ject has reached a cru­cial mile­stone with the sub­mis­sion of a detailed plan­ning applic­a­tion to Highland Council.

The pro­ject, which has been jointly developed by two Edinburgh-based com­munity organ­isa­tions, aims to gen­er­ate clean, renew­able energy, con­trib­ut­ing to Scottish Government efforts to tackle cli­mate change.

The two 750KW wind tur­bines at the heart of the pro­ject will also gen­er­ate a fin­an­cial return that will be shared between loc­al com­munity organ­isa­tions near the pro­ject and the non-profit groups that developed the ini­ti­at­ive, Greener Leith and PEDAL Portobello.

Charlotte Encombe, Greener Leith Chair said: “Volunteers from both Greener Leith and PEDAL Portobello have inves­ted hun­dreds of volun­teer hours to get the pro­ject to this stage, fun­drais­ing, man­aging con­tract­ors and meet­ing with loc­al com­munity groups.

“All the envir­on­ment­al stud­ies on the site show that our com­munity-owned wind pro­ject will have little impact on the sur­round­ing area, and unlike most com­mer­cial energy devel­op­ments, this pro­ject will provide a sig­ni­fic­ant fin­an­cial return to sup­port com­munity-led ini­ti­at­ives in the loc­al area as well as in Leith and Portobello.”

The pro­ject is cur­rently 95% owned by two Edinburgh-based com­munity groups Greener Leith and PEDAL Portobello. A num­ber of com­munity organ­isa­tions loc­al to the pro­ject have already been approached by volun­teers from the pro­ject, and offered the oppor­tun­ity to invest in the project.

Eva Schonveld, PEDAL Portobello Chair said: “Whilst com­munity groups close to the pro­ject are already guar­an­teed to receive annu­al com­munity bene­fit pay­ments from the pro­ject, we are also able to offer non-profit organ­isa­tions in the loc­al area the oppor­tun­ity to invest in the pro­ject dir­ectly too.”

“All over Scotland, renew­able energy pro­jects like this are gen­er­at­ing resources for com­munity groups that can help them revital­ise their areas, whilst sim­ul­tan­eously tack­ling cli­mate change and UK depend­ence on fossil fuels from for­eign countries.

“We’re really excited about reach­ing this import­ant mile­stone in our pro­ject and keen to start play­ing a part in the com­munity-owned renew­able energy revolution.”

Should the pro­ject receive plan­ning per­mis­sion, con­struc­tion of the wind tur­bines is expec­ted to begin in 2015.

Apple Day: Saturday 25th October 2.00pm till 4.30pm at the Orchard

Hello, it is time for Apple Day…

Squeezing apple juiceJoin us at the Community Orchard
Saturday 25th October
2.00pm till 4.30pm

Everyone Welcome!

Apple press­ing (Please bring apples if you have plenty to spare and a bottle to take some juice home).

There will be:

  • Apple tast­ing, games and crafts — if you have your own home grown Portobello apples please bring an example to show us.
  • Apple juice & jams for sale
  • Refreshments and home bak­ing — we would be grate­ful for any con­tri­bu­tions of home bak­ing, pre­serves and help but more import­ant: Come along and have fun.



Aldi and Cruden are pre­par­ing pro­pos­als for a res­id­en­tial devel­op­ment of around 200 new homes and a new food store at Baileyfield, Portobello with asso­ci­ated car park­ing and landscaping.

Before sub­mit­ting an applic­a­tion, Aldi and Cruden will be con­sult­ing with the loc­al com­munity.  As part of this con­sulta­tion there will be a pub­lic exhib­i­tion of the pro­pos­als on Wednesday 18th June at Portobello Town Hall between 12noon and 7pm.

Latest on the Turbines

Tom, Carolyn and Vijay at the wind turbine site.

Tom, Carolyn and Vijay at the wind tur­bine site.

A wind mon­it­or­ing mast has been installed at the site of the pro­posed PEDAL and Greener Leith wind tur­bines. The equip­ment will mon­it­or both wind speed and wind dir­ec­tion at 50 metres and 60 metres over 12 months to help us get a bet­ter idea of the wind resource, energy yield and likely income from the tur­bines. Information is sent by email from the mast daily to the con­tract­or, Kona, who will the provide monthly reports. This inform­a­tion will assist with applic­a­tions for finance.

We’ve begun meet­ing with loc­al groups to dis­cuss the pro­ject and have more meet­ings planned in the near future.Volunteers from PEDAL and Greener Leith and staff from Scene Consulting (pic­tured) vis­ited the site on 3rd of June to meet with the Community Council there and to see the install­a­tion being com­pleted. The area had already largely been felled of com­mer­cial tim­ber by the landown­er­’s forestry con­tract­ors. Additional trees felled for the install­a­tion will be replaced by new tree plant­ing at anoth­er loc­al site.

Orchard Workshops: Songs for the earth: Monday, 28th July

Songs for the earth with Jane Lewis

Monday, 28th July 7 – 9pm

£6/2 con­ces­sions
Venue: Donkeyfield Community Orchard, Daiches Brae, near Brunstane Station

Come and learn some simple har­mony songs  around the bonfire and amongst the fruit trees in Donkeyfield Community Orchard. All songs will be taught by ear. All welcome!

Please book by July 21st. Contact Eve: or 07724 825 434

Orchard Workshops: Learn to make a Pea cone: Sunday, 29th June

The first in a short series of 


Daiches Brae, near Brunstane Station

Pea cone workshop with Anna Leibmann

Sunday, 29th June 11 – 3pm, £30 (there are a few con­ces­sion­ary places, please con­tact us for details)

Learn to make a beau­ti­ful wil­low pea cone to sup­port your peas, or oth­er climb­ing plants. All mater­i­als provided, but bring your own lunch.

Please book by June 22nd. Contact Eve: or 07724 825 434