Green fingered appointment

A group of horticultural experts have been appointed to the team creating NHS Lothian’s community gardens.

The charity, Cyrenians, will oversee the creation and development of the community gardens planned for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.  

Up to 30 gardens will be created on unused land within the hospital grounds over the coming years. Each garden will be created and kept by local people and community groups.

Charles Winstanley, Chair, NHS Lothian said:

“NHS Lothian recognises the role gardens play in creating a pleasant environment for patients, their families, visitors and the staff in our hospitals. These community gardens are particularly special as they differ from allotments. They bring members of the local community and patients together as they work alongside each other to grow things.”

Des Ryan, Chief Executive of Cyrenians said,

“NHS Lothian has shown great vision is making this land available for the Community Gardens project. Turning the vision into reality is going to take a lot of hard graft and we’re looking to bring together a wide range of people from the local community to make it happen.”
“This is a great opportunity for local gardeners, community groups and businesses to get involved at an early stage in something new and exciting that promotes a better 21st Century way of life. We would also love to hear from people offering their time to help make it happen.”

Community gardens feature allocated plots for individuals or groups to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs or flowers. They may also have common areas of grass and other cultivation for the use of all.

The charity Cyrenians was appointed to manage the project after a formal tender process. They will shortly begin to liaise with community groups and members of the public to outline how they can get involved in the project. It is intended that the first gardens will be created in 2010.