Postcards from the future

We held the first of our visioning workshops on 13 April 2021 and we asked participants to imagine that they have time travelled to the year 2050 and send themselves a 'postcard from the future' which describes what has happened to Edinburgh's parks and greenspaces.

Below you can read what the postcards said:

"All parks have cycling lanes and toilets, lots of trees, some of which are fruit trees, spaces to play for children and adults and wildlife areas - not as much plain grass as now, with paths through flowers. They are funded by the council directly, but the local community has a strong saying in what happens in the parks and actively participates to the upkeeping of them. When fruits are ripe, harvesting events are organised to spread the crop and generally the local community can use the spaces more freely with regular outdoor events for different ages groups to come together."

"I’m on holiday in Edinburgh visiting all the parks. They are fantastic, so well looked after and busy as always. They are lots of ideas on activities to keep you healthy such as walking routes, toilets in every park and lots of seats and shelters. There’s good welcoming signage with information about the park, what’s on and walking and cycling routes. As well as staff maintaining them there is evidence of lots of volunteer activities and projects, the people here must really care about their parks. Wish you were here!"

"Wish you were here, the city looks lovely in the springtime. The parks are lovely, well maintained, and colourful, and so clean with no litter or graffiti and all the dogs were on leads! The parks staff were friendly and encouraged the children to play among the trees that have grown up around the play area. Nice to see some technology in the park, with digital screens and interactive play equipment. The old pavilion is now a bustling hive of activity and had a lovely range of local pottery for sale (that's your birthday sorted!).There definitely seems to be much more money spent on these spaces than I remember and everyone seems to be respecting the hard work that has gone into keeping the park looking wonderful. We're off to see a couple of other parks while we are here, but not before we have explored this one some more!"

"Dear me...I visited our park today and it still creates a great space for people to meet. The different spaces are being well used and there is something for everyone. I was glad to see that the park is well maintained and the all-weather facilities obviously mean that people can get use of it all year round. The paths are good, both for the less able and for those learning to ride bikes .I liked the information I learned about the nature in the park and there was plenty to look at as we walked round."

"Hello, Greetings from the future I'm in Leith Links and the weather is lovely here, but even better is how amazing the Links have evolved. There are toilets, including a Changing Places one, a bistro, a cafe, loads of interesting trees, and a bandstand with a band playing. The quality of the Links has improved a whole lot! I love the wildflower meadows, and all the we places to sit and there are shelters too. There seems to be so much vibrancy and so much going on. The Council and the Friends group have worked wonders and it all looks like people care there must have been a sea change in the way that parks are now funded judging by the quality of the facilities. p.s. I got my five year Covid booster today! Yippeee!"

"The parks in Edinburgh are amazing. They are so well looked after and maintained. The cacophony of colourful planting is amazing, and the variety of species are wonderful. There is a toilet in each park, which are looked after and clean. Dogs are kept in control by their owners and there is no dog poo to step in or litter around. Amazing! There are trails in all the parks, which the kids love and lovely wooden sculptures which are great to climb on and touch. The information boards provide great insight into the history of the parks and the animals and plants which you see around you. There is a co-ordinated feel to all the parks around the city, linked by consistent signage and street furniture. I discovered that the council are now funded properly which means they can maintain their parks with a decent budget from the government. There is commitment from the government as they now understand how import open space is for health and wellbeing. There is a large maintenance team who make sure the parks are looked after and kept in a great condition! How lovely!"

"I walked through the Hermitage, up through the Walled Garden and onto Blackford Hill. The ground cover was so much better than I remember, and the trees were just beautiful. There were public toilets and Hermitage House has been renovated, providing rooms for nature related activities. The views are just as good. The Community Wood has matured but is still quite a quiet and secluded area. It doesn’t seem to have suffered any lasting effects of the pandemic overload. I then walked through Braidburn Valley Park and up to Craighouse. BVP is still charming, and the cherry trees have matured nicely. The outdoor gym is well used. The Craighouse development is complete and the trees planted around 2020 have matured nicely. The viewpoints have been kept open for stunning views. When I asked about funding, it seems that resources are available to manage the areas, but the level of individual involvement is high. People seem proud of their local green spaces. Dog walking is still a big thing, but there are also people of all ages, walking, cycling and running. There are marked routes of specific lengths."

"It has finally happened! People actually using the Burdiehouse burn for fun rather than a deposit for their unwanted household rubbish! I was surprised to see children splashing each other laughing and families picnicking on the grass. Not a piece of litter on site! There was even a group of yoga or Tai chi class going on in where I clearly remembered I had found a car burnt out during one of my patrol… I saw dragonflies zooming by me and a heron quietly hiding fishing in the what looked like areas where the narrow burn had been widened to create some sort of pool. I walked in the what used to be the Millennium woodlands and I saw a 3 deers scampering away! I remember seeing them being planted, I am so glad we managed to get volunteers to look after their management. I went to the Hermitage next and it is as busy as I remembered it. It had increased in size somehow they managed to link in the old woodland with the Braids and create this unique space with wildlife bridges/ tunnels to connect these spaces better! Even saw sculptures of animals in trees! Amazing"