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The Field Group - Creating a place to connect

01 April 2013

The Field Group, Duddingston, a newly formed group whose main purpose is to preserve green spaces in and around Duddingston completed a project which saw it improve the Measured Walk.

The Measured Walk will be used to encourage older and less physically active visitors to the Field to walk its paths and enjoy the spectacular views over Craigmillar Castle, the Pentland Hills and the Firth of Forth.

Improvements included: building a welcome gate to the Measured Walk; installing six resting wooden benches at key view points along the route; developing and producing leaflets to promote the Walk; commissioning a safety survey on older trees in order to make safe; payment of rent of The Field for one year is also included.

In order to carry out these improvements, the group applied for funding from Foundation Scotland. After being assessed by a panel on behalf of the Foundation, a grant of £2,000 was awarded through the Heineken UK fund.

It was decided that the project was a great fit for the objectives of the Heineken Fund, in that The Measured Walk encourages health and wellbeing, self esteem and self confidence through physical activity.

The improvements to the space will enable less physically active members of the community to benefit from amenity that The Field offers. In addition, the leaflets produced by the group will be used to promote the Measured Walk to older, less physically active members of the community. The Group also plans to create partnerships with at least two local Community Groups to raise awareness and encourage an increased number of people visiting The Field more regularly.

Freda O’Byrne, a member of the Group, said: “The Field now has an orchard, new hedgerows, a labyrinth, new woodland shrubs, paths, new entrances, a tree nursery, a water supply and a willow stand through the voluntary effort of so many people. These are the visible things. There has also been inclusion, camaraderie, cooperation, mentoring, learning, skills sharing, meeting new people, linking with other community groups and networks and learning from them. We have grown a place to connect.”

One beneficiary of the group said: “I'm 84 next birthday and have been gardening for most of my life. Last Saturday I had a tremendous sense of achievement when I managed to graft 5 new apple trees after practising for about 30 minutes, guided and encouraged by John. If there had been a bench there, Sheila (my wife) could have watched and given orders! It's really coming together, with everybody getting involved.”


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