A new future for Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park
Active travel, responding to the climate crisis and increased wellbeing benefits form proposals for a new future for Edinburgh’s iconic park
A 12-week consultation opens today (Tuesday 26 September) as Historic Environment Scotland (HES) asks the public to have their say on the future of Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.
As part of its consultation activity, HES is inviting people to take part in a survey which will run until Tuesday 19 December. Participants will be asked how they currently use the Park, what they believe the priorities should be for the Park and the role Holyrood Park should play in Edinburgh’s future.
Participants will also be asked for their feedback on HES’s Outline Strategic Plan which showcases detailed principles, vision and objectives to deliver a new future for Holyrood Park that could transform the Park into a climate positive asset for Scotland, strengthen its iconic status and provide further wellbeing benefits. The Plan is being shaped with communities and stakeholders to ensure that future proposals reflect the needs of all park users.
Holyrood Park attracts millions of visitors every year, providing a unique visitor experience for tourists as well as residents and contributing to Scotland’s economy, in addition to providing a range of physical health and mental wellbeing benefits. The Park is designated as a Scheduled Monument, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is listed on the Inventory of Gardens and Designated Landscapes.
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said:
“Holyrood Park is a park like no other. Not only is it the city’s premier green space, with its dramatic hills and crags shaping the Edinburgh skyline, but its history spans thousands of years, with an ancient now-extinct volcano and over 100 known archaeological sites. The Park is situated within a 15-minute walking and cycling catchment of around 89,000 and 317,000 residents respectively, and its landscape offers varied habitats supporting a wide biodiversity.
“These are some of the reasons why Holyrood Park is a hugely complex site, which not only needs to be looked at within the context of our wider estate of more than 300 Properties in Care, but within the city of Edinburgh as a whole.
“We have been developing these draft proposals over the past year, including engaging with key partners to ensure that we can develop a new future for the city’s iconic park which maximises the benefits and opportunities that it can bring to the people of Edinburgh and Scotland.”
In addition to the survey questionnaire, information events will take place in Edinburgh from Thursday 12th October to Saturday 14th October for people to find out more about the Outline Strategic Plan and share their views with HES representatives. Pop-up events will be taking place at locations around the park and a drop-in exhibition will be taking place at Holyrood Park’s Education Centre from 10am-5pm on Saturday 14 October. The events are free to attend.
For those unable to attend in-person events, a virtual engagement room has been set up for visitors to access further information on the plan and the survey.
Alex continues: “We hope to hear from as many people as possible to ensure that any future proposals reflect the needs of all Park users. Whether it’s through coming along to one of our face-to-face events or taking part in our survey questionnaire, the feedback we receive will directly inform our vision for a bold and sustainable future for Holyrood Park.”
Following the consultation, the feedback received will be analysed and a final Strategic Plan for Holyrood Park will be published in 2024.
For further information on the Outline Strategic Plan or to explore the virtual engagement room, visit the HES website.