Category Archives: Uncategorized

Portobello Market, Saturday 2nd March 2019

The next Portobello Market will be on Saturday 2nd March in Brighton Park, Brighton Place, Portobello.

Gates open in Brighton Park at 9.30 and we run until 1.30.

BG Cycles will be back on site to give a free check to your bicycle to keep you safe on the roads.

Check out the PEDAL web­site for a full list of traders.

Brighton Place is closed to traffic from the High Street end but open to vehicles from the top end. Pedestrian access to the park is unin­ter­rup­ted, and the clos­ure at one end has provided an increase in park­ing, so please come along and sup­port us.

Please Like and Share our Facebook page, PortyMarket

Next steps for Portobello (Transition Town) Apple Network 2016

Portobello Apple is a loc­al ini­ti­at­ive under the umbrella of Portobello Transition Town which is part of a nation­al net­work seek­ing to pro­mote low energy, more sus­tain­able liv­ing. At Portobello Apple we have had three suc­cess­ful years of col­lect­ing unwanted apples and pears from loc­al gar­dens, loc­al parks and our own Portobello Orchard, then juicing, pas­teur­ising and bot­tling them. The bottles are sold at Portobello Market and our own Apple day and the pro­ceeds so far have gone towards the upkeep of Portobello (Donkeyfield) Orchard. 140 bottles were sold last year, as well as a vari­ety of jams, pre­serves and ketch­ups from the fruit. The ini­ti­at­ive has only been pos­sible with loc­al sup­port from artists design­ing the labels; print­ers print­ing the labels at cost-price; people donat­ing space in their gar­dens for the juicing equip­ment and free time to the pick­ing; and com­mer­cial nurs­er­ies pre­pared to donate unwanted apples and pears. A great com­bined effort. As we look ahead to 2016 we see great poten­tial. Only 10% of all the apples grow­ing in loc­al gar­dens have found their way into our bottles. As we sell more we can start con­trib­ut­ing to oth­er char­it­ies. We have a second apple press for hire. Though fairly fully planted,the orch­ard itself lends itself to more grow­ing activ­it­ies and social activ­it­ies. So as we think and plan ahead we would be inter­ested in your responses to the fol­low­ing:

1. We plan to seek out the remain­ing 90% of apples with more pub­li­city. Do you have any unwanted apples or know of any­one who does?

2. We have the equip­ment to pro­duce lots more juice but not the man­power or woman­power. We need more help in the pick­ing and trans­port­ing of the fruit. Can you help?

3. We have the poten­tial to con­trib­ute to oth­er char­it­ies in some ways. Do you know of any?

4. Many people rel­ish mak­ing their own juice and our second mobile press for hire is an under­used resource.

5. Similarly our main stat­ic equip­ment can be made more avail­able to the pub­lic, per­haps for a dona­tion of apples which we can then sell.

6. In the Orchard itself we have a year’s list of pro­jects, includ­ing a children’s wood­land play area, on our monthly work-days. Can you help?

7. We run a series of prun­ing and graft­ing work­shops and an annu­al Wassailing Day already; but the the space is there for any num­ber of oth­er out­door activ­it­ies includ­ing children’s play, bird-watch­ing, theatre and oth­ers. We know of a couple who wanted to get mar­ried in the Orchard! Could you use it?

8. We gen­er­ated enough cre­at­ive recipes to start a Portie Apple Preserve Handbook. Can you con­trib­ute?

9. We make cider too but not for sale! We sus­pect there are many oth­ers around mak­ing cider to share tips with. A Portobello Cider Group?

If you are inter­ested or can help please con­tact us at:

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.

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.

PEDAL ‘Street Level’ — make it happen on your street!


Would you love to have a street party on your street — but nev­er got round to mak­ing it hap­pen? Or do you think car-shar­ing with a few people who live close by would make sense, but you’re not sure how to go about it? Maybe you think it’s crazy that 10 people in your street have a lawn mower, when you could all just use the same one?

If so, Street Level may be for you.

It’s not com­plic­ated – just the chance to bring togeth­er a bunch of people who’d like to start some­thing good on their street — so they can share a bit of mor­al and prac­tical sup­port. Let’s get togeth­er, share ideas and resources and sup­port one anoth­er to make good things hap­pen on our streets.

The kinds of things we might do are:

Organise street parties

Join Streetbank

Get on-street bike stor­age

Start com­munity gar­dens

Build on-street planters/trees

Make or com­mis­sion pub­lic art

Share chick­ens

Start food/solar/insulation co-ops…

… stuff like that.

If you’re inter­ested, email or call Eva

Next Steps to New Site for Community Wind Energy Project

Long stand­ing sup­port­ers of PEDAL will remem­ber that we won a UK-wide fund­ing com­pet­i­tion, in part­ner­ship with Greener Leith, to help us build a com­munity owned wind tur­bine at Seafield.

visualisation of how the turbines will look from a local access route.

Visualisation of how the tur­bines will look from a loc­al access route.

P&L Turbine hub-heightAlthough Scottish Water sub­sequently pulled out of the deal, pre­vent­ing us from build­ing a tur­bine at Seafield, we did not give up, and are now pleased to be able to con­firm that we’ve secured a new site for the com­munity tur­bine pro­ject — four kilo­metres south west of Inverness.

The agree­ment fol­lows a year of com­plex nego­ti­ations. The land deal gives us exclus­ive rights to con­duct stud­ies at the site and build two wind tur­bines of up to 800KWp capa­city each.

P&L Turbine tomfat-mapTo take the pro­ject for­wards we have estab­lished a joint ven­ture com­pany which is major­ity owned by PEDAL and Greener Leith. Consultants to the pro­ject, SCENE, own a minor­ity (five per­cent) stake.

In addi­tion, plan­ning per­mis­sion has recently been gran­ted to install a met mast on the site to meas­ure the wind resource, which will hap­pen in the next month or so.

The next step is to meet with the com­munit­ies near to the site.  We hope loc­al non-profit groups will become part­ners in the pro­ject too, and are offer­ing them the chance to invest in, and become part own­ers of it. We want this to be a pro­ject that brings real envir­on­ment­al and fin­an­cial bene­fits, not just to our own com­munit­ies, but to those where the tur­bines will be loc­ated.

We’ve already begun this pro­cess and will be present­ing on the pro­ject at Strathnairn Community Council’s meet­ing on 26th May.

The aim is to sub­mit a full plan­ning applic­a­tion to Highland Council some­time in August. If it gets plan­ning per­mis­sion, the pro­ject could gen­er­ate an estim­ated £7m sur­plus over the twenty year lifespan of the pro­ject, to be dis­trib­uted between the com­munity groups who invest in the pro­ject — includ­ing PEDAL  and Greener Leith.

A spokes­per­son for the pro­ject said:

“Signing a land deal is a huge mile­stone for this pro­ject. PEDAL and Greener Leith volun­teers have worked for years on this pro­ject and both organ­isa­tions remain firmly com­mit­ted to com­munity-owned renew­able energy. Our atten­tion is now focussed on identi­fy­ing poten­tial non-profit com­munity part­ners loc­al to the site who we can work with to help us take the pro­ject for­wards and share in the sub­sequent bene­fits.

“Although a lot still needs to hap­pen before we can be cer­tain the pro­ject will go ahead, we hope to put in a full plan­ning applic­a­tion later in the year, with a view to start­ing con­struc­tion on site in 2015. We’d like to thank all the people who have got behind the pro­ject, espe­cially our key fun­ders, for their ongo­ing sup­port.”

You can find out more about the pro­ject at the spe­cially set-up web­site at

Announcing a new PEDAL working group: Bike Group

We are set­ting up a new cyc­ling steer­ing group for PEDAL — we’ve star­ted run­ning a loc­al sur­vey on what people would like to help them cycle more, and aim to use this to apply for fund­ing sup­port.

We’re think­ing: Dr Bike ses­sions for the mar­ket, adult cycle train­ing, com­muter bud­dy­ing, and on-street bike tools. If you’d like to get involved, get in touch with us or come along to the next mar­ket to have a chat.

Contact Charlotte on if you’re inter­ested.

PEDAL’s rep on Community Council is Eva Schonveld

Thanks to all of you who wrote in and respon­ded to the Ask Porty con­sulta­tion  that asked which registered Local Interest Groups should be rep­res­en­ted on Portobello Community Council. 

The Community Council had to choose 7 from 8 registered Groups.  A sum­mary of the responses they received is online here:-

Bath Street Gap Site clear up -> Success!

Bath Street Gap Site clear up Sunday 3rd November 2013A great Sunday after­noon (3rd November) clear­ing the site to pre­pare for the raised bed grow­ing spaces … frogs found so we’ll need a raised pond too!

Rumour has it this was not only the site of the old sofa fact­ory, but before that of the Electric under­ground Cinema … now there’s food for thought!

We’re plan­ning on a day of burn­ing and hope­fully chip­ping — hope you can join us!

Inspired by Falkirk? a Community Charter for Portobello?

This link takes you to the extraordin­ary Community Charter Falkirk has drawn up in the attempt to pro­tect its cul­tur­al and eco­lo­gic­al her­it­age against any devel­op­ments which the com­munity as a whole decide pose a threat to it.

It is in response to pro­posed meth­ane extrac­tion, but should Portobello do the same? If we did, it would be key that such decisions were taken by the com­munity as a whole, and arrived at through pro­cesses that secure con­sensus.

… and here is a lovely link to a brief video of kids at The Big Dig in Falkirk

(nb: this is a post by Justin, no one else is respons­ible for it!)