Fields in Trust

Our work with City of Edinburgh

City of Edinburgh Council are experienced park protectors. They have been working with us since 1939 to protect 36 spaces so far. But this programme is different. The Council wanted to use our Green Space index and 10 minute walk metric to meet the needs of even more Edinburgh residents.

The current programme adds a further 19 parks and green spaces to their portfolio, taking the total to 55 parks and green spaces protected forever. An amazing achievement that current and future generations can benefit from and enjoy.

But making the decision about which parks to protect all came down to the data.

Edinburgh’s expands their legacy

Even with 36 parks and green spaces protected with us, City of Edinburgh Council wanted to do more for the future of this beautiful city, its people and its nature.

Did you know?


Almost two-thirds of people in Edinburgh live in flats compared to an average of one in five across the UK.

1 in 7

One in seven people in Edinburgh have no access to a private or shared garden


The city's population is set to grow by 10% over the next two decades.

Within their 2030 Climate Strategy, the council set out their desire to protect Edinburgh’s natural assets saying: ‘We will seek opportunities to utilize the city’s public sector estate to protect greenspaces, enhance biodiversity, reduce carbon emissions and improve health.

Working with us was a strategic solution to help the council meet their climate aims and the demands of an ever-increasing population.

How did we do it?

We used our Green Space Index and 10min walk metric to shape Edinburgh’s thinking and select the most strategically placed parks so that this amazing protection programme would encompass both the biggest population and the communities most in need.

The list of 19 spaces the council selected using the data analysis are:

  • Cavalry Park
  • Ratho Station Park
  • Buckstone Woods
  • Seafield Recreation Ground
  • Parkside Park
  • East Pilton Park
  • Cramond Walled Garden
  • Jewel Park
  • Baronscourt Park
  • Clermiston Park
  • Fairmilehead Park
  • Pikes Pool
  • Sighthill Park
  • Muirhouse Park
  • Spylaw Park
  • Gyle Park
  • Joppa Quarry Park
  • Roseburn Park
  • Inch Park

We are really proud to continue our work with City of Edinburgh Council knowing it will help nature to thrive and bring so much benefit to the people of Edinburgh for many years to come.

Diving into the data

We took a detailed look at a location’s data

  • Green space
  • Population - ethnicity and affluence
  • Air quality
  • Physical and mental health indicators
  • Urbanity and household type

We then created bespoke spatial analysis to help the Council understand how their green spaces address the needs of residents.

We know that almost two-thirds of Edinburgh residents live in flats, and one in seven of them has no access to a private garden. But with the completion of this programme 66% of the population living in a flat are now living near a protected park. A guaranteed green space only a hop, skip and jump from their home, forever.

Our incredible partnership with City of Edinburgh Council has protected over 500hectares in total  - that’s the same size as 700 football pitches!

Showcasing the Programme

As a charity that receives no government funding, and does not charge the landowner for the legal protection process, it’s important that we raise charitable funds to undertake a programme of protections, and support the ongoing stewardship of them. 

We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to showcase the programme and our partnership with Council of Edinburgh Council at a reception at Holyrood.  The event brought together a range of stakeholders, companies and individuals from the community to hear more about the value local people place on their parks and why our protection will make such a difference.

A green Edinburgh - forever

It’s been incredible to see how a programme like this has brought the people of Edinburgh together. But there is always more to do!

There are lots of ways you can help secure an even bigger green legacy for the city – from making a regular donation to leaving a gift in your will.

How Can I Help?

On average, we estimate that our time and resources required to put in place the legal protection for all 19 parks is equivalent to around £5,000 per green space. We believe that’s a small amount when you consider the huge benefits to local people and the fact that our protection is forever.

We also believe it’s also an achievable target for many fundraising ideas!

For companies seeking to support the people of Edinburgh and this work, we can offer a range of opportunities from volunteering to lunch and learn sessions. Get in touch to find out more.

What does the future hold?

We want to explore how even more spaces could be protected across Edinburgh City. Even after this programme has finished, there will still be parks and green spaces left unprotected, so we are calling on the people of Edinburgh to support us in kick-starting a new project to protect even more!

Whether you’re an individual, a local group or a big business, we want your help to make the green legacy for Edinburgh, bigger and better.

Whether you're a resident of Edinburgh or you live in another local authority and would like to see your council adopt a similar vision there's plenty you can do to get involved.