Category Archives: Uncategorized

DIY Energy Efficiency Workshops

EWH offers free workshops on how to winter-proof your home

Dear Resident,

For the second year in a row Edinburgh World Heritage is part­ner­ing with Greenworks in run­ning these hugely pop­u­lar courses.
The courses are aimed at someone new to DIY or sav­ing energy in the home. We look at the basic uses of energy in the home and what prac­tic­al actions can be made to reduce fuel bills and heat loss at home. Each hands-on work­shop focuses on key skills and tools, and demon­strates how to get the best res­ults. A very enjoy­able way to learn use­ful skills.

The courses are held at Greenworks in Leith, an envir­on­ment­al char­ity that helps people learn new skills by provid­ing the expert­ise, mater­i­als, tools and space.

Don’t miss these dates!

  • ·         Draught-proof­ing your home — Saturday 13 October, 2pm till 5pm
  • ·         Sash & Case win­dows and Repairing shut­ters — Sunday 14 October, 2pm till 5pm
  • Self energy audit and loft insu­la­tion — Sunday 28 October, 2pm till 5pm


Feedback from last year’s participants:

Rebecca: “I loved your work­shops, learned a huge amount and have already star­ted work­ing on get­ting my shut­ters sor­ted. Credit to Greenworks too as Simon is a great tutor and the laid back atmo­sphere and small groups were espe­cially bene­fi­cial. Are you going to run more? I have a friend that would love to come.”

Andy: “Thank you for the work­shop on Saturday, which was use­ful and got me think­ing on a few ways to sort my flat. With best wishes and thanks again.”

Melanie: “It was very use­ful and I am glad I learned more than just to clean and how to open my win­dows. Thanks for let­ting me know about them.”

All work­shops are free of charge, but places are lim­ited. To book your place in advance, please reply to this email or con­tact Chiara Ronchini at 0131 220 7720.

Want to find out more about Big Things on the Beach? 8 p.m. Monday 18th June The Dalriada

Who are the trust­ees and how does this Public Arts Trust work?
Come along to an inform­al inform­a­tion even­ing where you can find out a little bit about our his­tory, our plans for the future, and our long term strategies and goals.
Discover the dif­fer­ent types of volun­teer­ing oppor­tun­it­ies avail­able; ran­ging from help­ing with one-off events, to join­ing our unique and innov­at­ive Commissioning Group or becom­ing a Trustee and help­ing steer Big Things on the Beach into the future.
8 p.m. Monday 18th June
The Dalriada

Eat, Meet and Talk series – John Fletcher Thursday 7 June, 7 – 9 pm at the Edinburgh Larder, Blackfriars St

Reminder of this week’s event in the Eat, Meet and Talk series – John Fletcher

Thursday 7 June, 7 – 9 pm at the Edinburgh Larder, Blackfriars St

John Fletcher is the friendly face of Fletchers of Auchtermuchty, pion­eers of deer-farm­ing for food in Scotland and pro­viders of ‘ser­i­ously good ven­ison’. With almost 40 years’ exper­i­ence, John and Nichola Fletcher are the UK’s lead­ing experts on ven­ison and are renowned for the excel­lence of their products and also for their advice and ser­vice, which has been recog­nised by Rick Stein, Delia Smith, Sue Lawrence, Nigella Lawson, Sophie Grigson and Nick Nairn. They sell from their own farm shop, at farm­ers mar­kets and by mail order all over the UK. 

£5 on the door for bread and a hearty bowl of good fresh soup. Please email to book a place at this event. We look for­ward to see­ing you there.

City of Edinburgh Council’s free insulation scheme — Frequently Asked Questions

Householders can down­load answers to Frequently Asked Questions below.


Saturday 19 May, 10.30 am – open visit to the Community Gardens and Orchard in Portobello

The next vis­it in the Eat, Meet and Talk series — is our own Orchard!
Meet out­side Brunstane Railway Station at 10.30 am

Volunteers in Portobello have planted around 90 fruit­ing trees such as apples, pears, plums and cher­ries, par­tic­u­larly focus­ing on a range of unusu­al, old and loc­al vari­et­ies. They are also plant­ing soft fruit bushes such as cur­rants and goose­ber­ries, and have plans to plant trees such as wil­low and hazel that can be used for cop­picing and to make fen­cing or seat­ing for the area, or for craft activ­it­ies such as bas­ket weav­ing. They have installed bee hives and there is an act­ive and trained bee-keep­ing group. The gar­dens are an example of how vol­un­tary enthu­si­asm and effort can trans­form vacant ground into pro­duct­ive land in the city. The vis­it will tell you about the real­ity behind mak­ing a pro­ject like this happen.

Please email Eva Schonveld to let her know if you plan to come to this event, or if you need any more information.

»> Reports of the vis­it to Whitmuir Organics and the talks by Eleanor Cunningham of the Edinburgh Larder and Denise Walton of Peelham Farm are now avail­able on the ELFN web-site:

Next event – 7 June John Fletcher of Fletchers Venison, Auchtermuchty, 7 pm, Edinburgh Larder.

Porty & Leith Community Wind Turbine hits stumbling block in land negotiations

We are very dis­ap­poin­ted that our plans for the first urb­an com­munity wind tur­bine in Scotland have hit a stum­bling block after the landown­er, Scottish Water, changed their stance on the pro­ject at the start of this year.

Negotiations stalled after the private sec­tor com­pan­ies that man­age the PFI con­tract at the treat­ment works deman­ded that Scottish Water accept liab­il­ity for any acci­dents involving the pro­posed tur­bine on the site.

Although the risk of the wind tur­bine dam­aging the sewage works is extremely small, Scottish Water — which is 100% owned by Scottish Ministers —  have said they are not will­ing to accept the risk, even though PEDAL and Greener Leith would fund an insur­ance policy as part of the project.

Talks with Scottish Water and the com­pan­ies that man­age the Seafield site through a Private Finance Initiative began in February 2011. Despite receiv­ing sev­er­al writ­ten assur­ances from seni­or staff rep­res­ent­ing the organ­isa­tions involved that they would back a tur­bine on this site, it was not until 19th January 2012, nearly a year later, that Scottish Water changed their stance on the cru­cial land deal.

Representatives of PEDAL, Greener Leith and Scottish Water last met on 1st February 2012 in an unsuc­cess­ful attempt to resolve the issue. Since then, hav­ing already put in many hun­dreds of hours over many months to get the pro­ject to this stage, we have attemp­ted to lobby Scottish Government min­is­ters in a bid to find a way for­ward. 
 We’ve called on them to dir­ect Scottish Water to indem­ni­fy the PFI con­tract hold­ers from any risk asso­ci­ated with this pro­ject. Alternatively, the Scottish Government should cre­ate an indem­nity bond to cov­er com­munity renew­able pro­jects on land sub­ject to PFI. This could be covered in the future from the pro­ceeds from com­munity pro­jects that have benefited from it.

To date Scottish Water has not changed its stance on the project.

The extent of the influ­ence of private con­tract­ors over Scottish Water is unclear as the pro­ject requires a land deal that would last longer than the cur­rent PFI con­tract at Seafield – and the land, like Scottish Water, is ulti­mately owned by the pub­lic sector. 

Proposals to build a single wind tur­bine on the site are the res­ult of long stand­ing col­lab­or­a­tion between PEDAL and neigh­bour­ing com­munity group Greener Leith. We already have fund­ing from the Scottish Government and British Gas Energyshare in place to take the pro­ject to plan­ning applic­a­tion and grid connection. 

Expert opin­ion sug­gests that the Seafield site is the most pro­duct­ive site in the area. To date, our feas­ib­il­ity work has not uncovered any envir­on­ment­al or engin­eer­ing reas­on why the Seafield pro­ject could not proceed. 

Eva Schonveld, Chair of PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town said:

 “We are par­tic­u­larly frus­trated that Scottish Water has taken a whole year to identi­fy these issues, dur­ing which a huge num­ber of volun­teer hours have been put into the pro­ject. Our feas­ib­il­ity work shows there are no tech­nic­al ‘show-stop­pers’ to build­ing a tur­bine here, we are the most sup­por­ted of nearly 1000 pro­jects across the UK that took part in the Energyshare com­pet­i­tion, and we have all the funds in place to take the pro­ject to plan­ning submission.

“We con­tin­ue to try to resolve the issue of liab­il­ity through nego­ti­ations and polit­ic­al solu­tions. It seems extraordin­ary that dozens of wind tur­bines oper­ate without incid­ent on sewage works around the world, but this can­not be done on pub­lic land in Edinburgh. We simply can­not accept that, which is why we are determ­ined to find a way forward.”

Charlotte Encombe, Chair of Greener Leith said:

“We are bit­terly dis­ap­poin­ted to have got this far only for the pro­ject to be stalled on what looks like a tech­nic­al­ity.
We are explor­ing every avail­able option to resolve this impasse, and will not give up on the pro­ject yet. We owe it to the thou­sands of sup­port­ers who voted for us on, the hun­dreds of loc­al people who will bene­fit and our pro­ject fun­ders to try to find a way to break the deadlock.”

Georgy Davis of Community Energy Scotland, a mem­ber­ship organ­isa­tion that rep­res­ents com­munity renew­able energy pro­jects in Scotland said:

“This is a dis­ap­point­ing turn of affairs for this inspir­a­tion­al pro­ject that is a res­ult of sig­ni­fic­ant com­munity efforts.

“The issue of indem­nity for third parties in rela­tion to land that has exist­ing infra­struc­ture on it is one that could be of increas­ing sig­ni­fic­ance for com­munity-led renew­able pro­jects par­tic­u­larly in the urb­an envir­on­ment poten­tially ham­per­ing the Scottish Government’s abil­ity to achieve it’s tar­get for renew­ables in gen­er­al and com­munity renew­ables in par­tic­u­lar. We believe the issue needs resolved.”

The two groups held a peace­ful demon­stra­tion at the pro­posed site yes­ter­day, 28th April. 

Large scale wind tur­bines can be found at indus­tri­al sites in oth­er coun­tries such as England, Holland and the USA. These include tur­bines at com­mer­cial ports, chem­ic­al plants, water treat­ment and waste water treat­ment works. Those to be found in oper­a­tion in England include 1x 1,300KWp tur­bine at Hull Waste Water Treatment Works and 2x 600KWp tur­bines at Mablethorpe Sewage Treatment Works. Further, con­sen­ted wind pro­jects at waste water treat­ment works are: Bristol (4x 3,000KWp), Newthorpe in Nottinghamshire (1x 3,300KWp) and Severn-Trent in Leicestershire (1x 3,400KWp).

The Scottish Government’s tar­get is to achieve 100% of elec­tri­city demand from renew­ables by 2020 and 500MW of com­munity-owned renew­ables by the same date. See their Electricity Generation Policy at for more inform­a­tion. To-date, com­munity owned renew­able energy pro­jects in Scotland have a com­bined gen­er­at­ing capa­city of 19MW, mainly in the form of on-shore wind and hydro.

More than 90 PFI or PPP pro­jects exist on pub­licly-owned land around Scotland, there­fore PEDAL and Greener Leith believe it is only a mat­ter of time before oth­er com­munity renew­ables pro­jects encounter sim­il­ar problems. 

Festival of Transition 20 – 21 June

The Festival of Transition is an invit­a­tion to think pos­it­ively about how our lives could change as we adapt to the end of cheap fossil fuels, address the threat of run­away cli­mate change and fix our broken fin­an­cial sys­tem.
Join in one of the Festival’s inspir­ing events or accept the invit­a­tion to con­duct your own real life exper­i­ment in liv­ing dif­fer­ently on a nation­wide day of re-ima­gin­ing 20th-21st June 2012”. Find out more on the web­site:

Pedal on Parliament, 28th April

Pedal on Parliament is invit­ing cyc­lists, walk­ers, skate­boarders, roller-­skaters and any­one else who enjoys or who wants to enjoy act­ive travel to join us on the streets of Edinburgh on Saturday 28th April to take our mani­festo and deliv­er our peti­tion to the Scottish Parliament. We’ll be gath­er­ing at the Meadows in Edinburgh from 2pm for a 3pm start on a short jour­ney through the streets of Edinburgh towards Holyrood.

Read more here:

Porto-Velo — a new local, community-based cycling club

Any PEDAL sup­port­er will already know that cyc­ling is one of the green­est ways to get about, wheth­er that is for fit­ness, for fun, or to enjoy the great coun­tryside with­in reach.  And par­ents will already know that get­ting chil­dren out on their bikes can be a great way to get them enjoy­ing the out­doors and devel­op­ing their con­fid­ence and sense of inde­pend­ence.  But it’s often easi­er to motiv­ate your­self — or the kids — to go cyc­ling if you know there will be oth­er like-minded folk to share the exper­i­ence.  That’s why a group of loc­al cyc­lists (and par­ents) have set up Porto-Velo — a new loc­al, com­munity-based cyc­ling club that aims to pro­mote cyc­ling for all.  Starting on 22 April, there will be weekly Sunday fit­ness rides, start­ing at 9 am from the band­stand at the east end of the Prom.  These will offer var­ied routes of up to around 60 miles, but always with short­er options for people with less time or exper­i­ence.  During the sum­mer, there will also be fam­ily excur­sions for par­ents and their chil­dren, and easi­er entry-level rides for adults (depend­ing on demand).  If you are inter­ested in find­ing out more, please check out the web­site,, send an e‑mail to, or come along to the Dalriada (on the Prom) from 9 pm on Thursdays (from 12 April). 

How to grow fruit up walls, Edinburgh, 11 March

Growing fruit up walls is ideal for small gar­dens. This half-day course will cov­er plant­ing, build­ing a trel­lis and prun­ing. £5 in advance. Booking essen­tial. Call Sue on 07824449265 or email