Category Archives: Uncategorized

Magical Woodland Walk, Craiglockhart Woods, Edinburgh, 17th March

Participants will be taken on a magic­al jour­ney through the forest, led by a story-tell­er. Throughout the per­form­ance they will learn how to identi­fy vari­ous dif­fer­ent tree spe­cies, and learn why they are import­ant. They will meet vari­ous the­at­ric­al char­ac­ters along the way, includ­ing musi­cians (which will involve loc­al primary school chil­dren), trapeze artists and pup­pets. The event is free and suit­able for all ages. This event is organ­ized by envir­on­ment­al edu­ca­tion organ­iz­a­tion Rowanbank.

For more info con­tact Lucy Power, email:, Tel: 0, 7989 395535, web­site:

Finding and Securing Land for Community Growing

Training event, Edinburgh, 29 March 2012. Use the link at the bot­tom of the page to book.

Are you exper­i­en­cing dif­fi­culties in try­ing to find and secure land for your com­munity grow­ing project?

Are you facing obstacles in the plan­ning sys­tem and uphill battles nego­ti­at­ing with landown­ers and agree­ing on the terms of your lease? 

The Community Land Advisory Service (CLAS) has been estab­lished to provide sup­port and advice to com­munity groups and landown­ers to secure addi­tion­al land for com­munity garden­ing and to facil­it­ate nego­ti­ations between com­munity groups and landowners.

Our Top Tips train­ing ses­sion seeks to draw on the exper­i­ences of plan­ning, leg­al and land spe­cial­ists to advice on these issues. The train­ing will be par­ti­cip­at­ive and will draw on real life issues and exper­i­ences of the par­ti­cipants, using case stud­ies and examples of good practice.

Through par­ti­cip­at­ive and inter­act­ive train­ing, the day aims to look at Top Tips for:

1.    Thinking cre­at­ively and stra­tegic­ally to find land

2.    The next steps once a poten­tial piece of land has been found

3.    Looking at, inter­pret­ing and get­ting involved in the devel­op­ment plans and policies of your loc­al Council area

4.    Approach your coun­cil – both coun­cil­lors and planners

5.    Obtaining the sup­port of your neighbours

6.    Approaching landowners

7.    Securing a lease for the land 


Sheila Hobbs, Advisor with the CLAS

Sheila has a degree in Environmental Planning and has more than 20 years of exper­i­ence work­ing as a Chartered Town Planner work­ing both for loc­al plan­ning author­it­ies and the private sec­tor, includ­ing estab­lish­ing her own plan­ning con­sultancy before join­ing CLAS. She is exper­i­enced in nego­ti­at­ing with a wide range of organ­isa­tions on numer­ous issues relat­ing to vari­ous types of land use.

Morag Angus, Advisor with the CLAS

Morag has been a Chartered Surveyor for more than twenty years, work­ing for both loc­al and nation­al gov­ern­ment agen­cies, begin­ning in the private sec­tor as a Land Surveyor and mov­ing on to re-qual­i­fy as prop­erty sur­vey­or.  She has acted for Landlords, Tenants, loc­al and nation­al gov­ern­ment and a range of small com­munity groups, nego­ti­at­ing for, valu­ing and man­aging land and build­ings across Scotland.

Other speak­ers await­ing con­firm­a­tion. 

The exact pro­gramme for the day will depend on par­ti­cipants’ needs and level of under­stand­ing. Please tell about your land-related issue when you reserve your place so we can struc­ture the ses­sion around mat­ters that con­cern you.

Members (pay­ing mem­bers of FCFCG and Trellis) £ 20.00
Non-mem­bers from a com­munity or thera­peut­ic garden £ 35.00
Individuals who are not from a com­munity or thera­peut­ic garden £ 70.00
March 29th, 2012 10:00 AM   through   4:00 PM
Redhall Walled Garden
97 Lanark Road
EH14 2LZ
United Kingdom

Volunteer with the Otesha UK cycle tour this summer

Gear up for a two-wheeled revolution – join a 2011 Otesha UK cycle tour!

Do some­thing worth­while with your sum­mer! Join an Otesha sum­mer cycle tour, deliv­er work­shops and per­form a play about envir­on­ment­al and social sus­tain­ab­il­ity in schools and youth clubs as you cycle across the UK. There are two tours to choose from: Northern Soul (10th June – 23rd July) and Tartan Trail (5th August – 17th September).

Volunteers will be tak­ing in the delights of the UK from their saddles, per­form­ing a play, mak­ing the world a bet­ter place, learn­ing new skills (bike main­ten­ance, theatre, con­sensus decision-mak­ing, sus­tain­able and group liv­ing… the list goes on), meet­ing new friends, and gen­er­ally mak­ing mischief.

If you’re 18 to 28 and pas­sion­ate about cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able future, then why not ride with Otesha? Find out more at Places are first come, first served, so get your skates on!

If you have any ques­tions or would just like to have a chat about it, please call on 0207 377 2109 or email

Sustainable Development Education Network

Welcome to the March bul­letin for the SDE Network. This month sees our Annual Conference tak­ing place on 31st March, in Edinburgh, so hope as many of you can make it along to meet up, talk, share and learn.

Cycling and green trans­port seems to be a pop­u­lar top­ic at the moment and there is plenty info in this months bul­letin about it – from nation­al con­fer­ences and loc­al meet­ings, to resources and fund­ing. So get on your bike!!


Norah Barnes


For all oth­er enquir­ies contact:

Abi Cornwall, SDE Network coordin­ator, tel. 07506 189 600

email: and web­site:


SDE Network Page 1

1. Fairtrade Fortnight, Show Off Your Label, 28th Feb14th March

This year, Fairtrade is ask­ing you to get loud and proud and show off your label. Show off your pas­sion, your favour­ite product, your pro­du­cer stor­ies. Most of all, we want to show off Fairtrade cot­ton and high­light the injustices that make Fairtrade a vital life­line for cot­ton farm­ers in West Africa and India. Let’s show off a dif­fer­ent way of doing trade and why we sup­port it!

Posters, leaf­lets, Schools Action Guide, events are all on the web­site:

2. Trellis Annual Conference, Perth Concert Hall, 15th March

Trellis sup­ports and rep­res­ents over 180 thera­peutic garden­ing pro­jects across Scotland. This year’s con­fer­ence will be a show­case for the work of some of the inspir­ing and diverse garden­ing pro­jects in the Trellis net­work across Scotland and will offer del­eg­ates a choice of prac­tical work­shops on themes ran­ging from ‘Surviving Lean Times through Reinvention and Diversification’, to the value and chal­lenges of provid­ing Therapeutic Gardening in Secure Settings, a Fruit Tree Pruning Master Class and a chance to dis­cuss pre­lim­in­ary find­ings on the evid­ence for thera­peutic horticulture.

To book a place, please con­tact or tel 01738 624348. Full details also avail­able

3 Renewable Energy and Heat Fair, Nevis Centre, Fort William, Sat 19th March

As the cul­min­a­tion of the cur­rent phase of the 2‑year RENEW Project, a ‘Renewable Energy and Heat Fair’ is being organ­ized in Fort William. Renewable com­pan­ies based in Lochaber, and oth­er Scottish-based, accred­ited com­pan­ies have been invited to run info stalls.

For those who want to know more about a spe­cific tech­no­logy there will also be 75-minute work­shops for each of the three tech­no­lo­gies sup­por­ted by the Feed-in-Tariff (sol­ar PV, hydro and wind) and also for each of the three renew­able heat­ing tech­no­lo­gies (sol­ar thermal, bio­mass and heat pumps).

Robert & Justine Dunn, RENEW Household Project Officers, tel: 01967 402453, email:, web­site:


SDE Network Page 2

4. Spokes Spring Public Meeting, Augustine United Church, Edinburgh, Wed 23rd March

The meet­ing will be a hust­ings for the May 5th Holyrood elec­tions – with an excit­ing line-up of speak­ers, and a new format to enable max­im­um test­ing of and engage­ment with each can­did­ate!! Candidates for the Parliament from the 5 main parties will each speak for 5 minutes about cyc­ling in the con­text of their wider trans­port policies.  They will then spend 10 minutes each in sub­groups of the audi­ence, so that each can­did­ate gets a real grilling – by you!!


Time… 7.30pm; open 6.45 for cof­fee, stall, exhib­i­tion and chat.

For more info email: or go to Spokes website:


5. World of Work Glow Meeting – Renewable Energy Sector, 2 ‑3pm, 23rd March

The renew­able energy sec­tor is set to become one of the fast­est grow­ing sec­tors in Scotland, offer­ing many excit­ing career oppor­tun­it­ies for young people. Join this inter­act­ive Glow meet to find out more. Participants will have the oppor­tun­ity to take part in chal­lenges, ask ques­tions and learn about the career paths taken by three indi­vidu­als. This meet is broadly aimed at learners in sec­ond­ary schools but may be of interest to primary schools too.


Join this Glow meet on the 23rd March 2011 in the World of Work Wednesday Glow meet room at

Please dir­ect tech­nic­al quer­ies regard­ing Glow to Jennifer McDougall on All oth­er quer­ies should be dir­ec­ted to Ian Menzies, Development Officer (Developing Global Citizens) on email: or Tel: 0141 282 5160.


6. SDE Network Conference, Godfrey Thomson Hall, Universty of Edinburgh, 31st March

The SDE Network’s annu­al con­fer­ence is an oppor­tun­ity for the SDE com­munity to meet, talk, share and learn.  This year’s Keynote Speaker will by Prof Tim Kasser, author of Common Cause and The High Price of Materialism.  There will also be a var­ied pro­gramme of work­shops where del­eg­ates can share know­ledge, devel­op skills and learn prac­tic­al activities.


Cost – £50 for non-mem­bers or £20 for SDE Network Members. Places at this event are limited.

To book your place please con­tact Abi Cornwall:, tel: 07506 189 600


7. Growing Communities in Scotland, Edinburgh Regional Meeting, 5th April

This is a great oppor­tun­ity to meet oth­er people involved with com­munity and thera­peut­ic farms, gar­dens and grow­ing pro­jects in the Edinburgh area. On this day there will be an look at the work of the Grassmarket Community Project, a work­shop on top tips for grant fund­ing suc­cess, and a vis­it to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital Community Garden.


For more inform­a­tion email: or tel: 0131 623 7058.


Local Food Links — next meeting 25th January

Hi, we just wanted to let you know what happened at PEDAL’s recent Local Food Links event, and our plans for the next event — where we hope lots of loc­al people will come along to start work­ing togeth­er for loc­ally-pro­duced food grown and sold here in Portobello.

On Tuesday 23rd November in the Community Centre, Heather and Pete of Whitmuir Organics hos­ted a dis­cus­sion on loc­al food in Portobello.  A group of 16 loc­al people got togeth­er to cre­ate a vis­ion of a fant­ast­ic food future for Portobello … loc­ally-pro­duced and organ­ic … then work out how we might get there.

Have a look at the map we cre­ated, and the dia­gram sum­mar­ising the cur­rent PEDAL Food groups and pro­jects, which is on the Food page of this website.

We are hold­ing a fol­low up event on Tuesday 25th January from 7 – 9pm. We want to bring togeth­er as many people as pos­sible who have been involved in PEDAL’s food pro­jects — wheth­er that’s the orch­ard, mar­ket, food grow­ing courses or whatever — and people who are inter­ested in loc­al food but haven’t yet man­aged to get involved.  Folk will be able to choose the top­ic they’re most keen on and work with oth­ers to plan what can be done over the next year. We hope to see you there!

Details of the ven­ue will be pos­ted on the web­site and emailed to all those who expressed an interest.

Local Food Survey

PEDAL are look­ing at vari­ous ways in which a strong loc­al food sys­tem in Portobello might be developed. We are hop­ing to find out what res­id­ents of Portobello feel about buy­ing loc­ally pro­duced food.

By loc­ally pro­duced food, we mean food that has been grown, reared, caught, baked or oth­er­wise made in Scotland (prefer­ably the south-east of Scotland). The pro­duce cur­rently sold in loc­al shops may or may not have been pro­duced locally.

In par­tic­u­lar we would like to know what makes it dif­fi­cult for people to shop this way and how it could be made easier.

This sur­vey will only take a couple of minutes but will be very use­ful when decid­ing how to take this work for­ward. It would be great if you could take the time to com­plete it as every­one’s opin­ion counts. Please also for­ward it to any Portobello res­id­ents that you know.

To com­plete the sur­vey please click on this link Survey

Best Wishes and thanks in anticipation,

Emma Dempsey (on behalf of PEDAL)

An exciting year ahead! Brief report from PEDAL’s AGM

We had an excel­lent turn out for PEDAL’s AGM on 25th March. Kitchen Canny gave a great out­line of their work, the Chair (Justin) and Treasurer (Stephen) reviewed the year, Diana told the story of the Orchard using Jane’s and Mary Jane’s excel­lent slides, and our new Project Manager — Tom Black — out­lined an excit­ing year ahead as he, Charlotte (Energy pro­ject work­er) and Peter and Polly (Food pro­ject work­ers) embark on an ambi­tious work pro­gramme to engage the com­munity in real car­bon reduc­tion and com­munity resi­li­ence build­ing measures:

-       from an ima­gin­at­ive com­munity orch­ard that spreads from the Donkey Field site at Brunstane through people’s gar­dens and pub­lic spaces to re-skilling and garden sharing;

-       from a nov­el approach to tene­ment insu­la­tion (let us know if you’d like to involve your tene­ment in this) to test­ing wheth­er we can pro­duce com­munity owned elec­tri­city and funds for Portobello through wind power.

A great 12-minute clip from the film ‘In Transition’ was shown, out­lining how the Transition mod­el helps com­munit­ies pos­it­ively tackle cli­mate change and peak oil through rebuild­ing com­munity resi­li­ence.  It took a few attempts before we could get the film to run with sound, at the right speed, and without stop­ping – a good meta­phor for com­munity action: it takes patience, per­sist­ence, going back over the same ground, and finally suc­ceed­ing. After the film, we shared a meal — the whole event had been mar­velously organ­ised by Mary Jane and Charlotte, and it was great to see so many new faces — some­thing which augers very well for the year ahead.

We wish our new pro­ject work­ers all the best of luck with their efforts over the com­ing year, and want to restate OUT LOUD the fact that this is a shared com­munity endeav­our which relies entirely on vol­un­tary effort for it’s suc­cess and future.

If you have an idea or pro­ject you want to pro­pose and help pur­sue, or if you want to offer time and help (how­ever little or great) with exist­ing pro­jects, then please get in touch, get involved, and help us con­tin­ue work­ing to get Portobello on the road to com­munity resi­li­ence, a road that the whole world is going to be pur­su­ing, and the soon­er com­munit­ies start the bet­ter placed they will be to bene­fit and to weath­er the eco­nom­ic and envir­on­ment­al storms.

4 New PEDAL Project workers!

PEDAL -> Portobello Transition Town has recruited 4 work­ers to run a new pro­ject aim­ing to reduce the col­lect­ive car­bon foot­print of Portobello and to devel­op loc­al resources to meet the needs of our community.

Project Manager:
We have employed an exper­i­enced man­ager to man­age our pro­jects and fin­ances, fund raise, com­mu­nic­ate our vis­ion, and devel­op our Transition response to Climate Change and Peak Oil.

Two Food Workers:
One Energy Worker: 

We have employed 3 devel­op­ment work­ers: two spe­cial­ising in food and one in energy. In devel­op­ing their par­tic­u­lar area of work, they will be organ­ising a range of events, pro­du­cing pub­li­city mater­i­als and — we hope — work­ing with you to gal­van­ise a high level of com­munity involve­ment, meet­ing the chal­lenges of Climate Change and Peak Oil through facil­it­at­ing mean­ing­ful social change.

These posts cur­rently run until the end of March 2011.