Construction work has begun on a 78-acre district park in Winchburgh, a major placemaking project being developed around 10 miles from Edinburgh.
The Auldcathie Park will cost an estimated £6m and will feature woodland walks and extensive areas of wildlife habitat, along with the planting of 31,000 new trees.
Winchburgh Developments – which is driving the project – has appointed I&H Brown to undertake the work, which is expected to be completed by 2021.
Spanning 352 hectares, Winchburgh is one of the largest placemaking projects currently underway in the UK, delivering 3,450 new homes, improved transport links, schools and new outdoor spaces at the historic village.
More than 500 members of the Winchburgh community, and a further 350 Winchburgh primary school pupils, were involved in a detailed consultation for the park in 2018, contributing ideas and providing feedback on options for the design and layout.
The original design for the park extended over 45 acres, but this expanded to 78 acres with the final plan including extensive meadows and woodland areas, including open spaces for picnics and open play.
Further dedicated play areas have been incorporated to suit different age groups from young children to teens, including sensory play and large natural play areas, as well as an enclosed dog park.
A café with public toilets will be located in the centre of the park and the design also includes a 2.5-kilometre loop of accessible paths, which will connect with the Union Canal towpath, as well as a mountain bike track and fitness trails.
“The new Auldcathie District Park is an integral part of the Winchburgh masterplan, bringing important new green infrastructure to the area and connecting the town via a network of blue and green links," said John Hamilton, CEO, Winchburgh Developments.
Deryck Irving, Head of Strategic Development, Central Scotland Green Network Trust added: “The Central Scotland Green Network is one of the largest green space initiatives in Europe and aims, by 2050, to create a Central Scotland where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality.
"This can only be achieved by a wide range of partners – public and private sector; voluntary groups and communities – working together to create and maintain high quality, well connected, green places.
“The work being carried out by Winchburgh Developments at Auldcathie is a fantastic example of this in practice – not just because of the creation of new high-quality gree nspace which will make Winchburgh an attractive and vibrant place to live and work but because of the involvement of the local community in all stages of the project from initial ideas through to the plans for ongoing management.”
The masterplan also includes the delivery of three new neighbourhood parks. Daisy Park will be located next to the Union Canal in the centre of the town, a second in the Glendevon area to the west, and a third to the east at Hawkhill.