Police raid Botanics for Redbraes Open Day


Caught greenhanded! PC Simon Daley (that’s him on the right), raids the nursery of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – with a lot of help from nursery supervisor Pete Brownless (that’s him in the middle) and PC Ian Penicuik.

It’s all in a good cause, of course. After months of digging, building and planting, Simon is helping Redbraes Community Garden prepare for a party on Saturday’s Open Day. They hope you will come and join them for a barbecue between 3-6pm. And if you can lend a barbecue for the occasion you will be specially welcome!

By then, weather permitting, Simon’s team will have finished the new path into the garden but if rain stops work you will see signs to lead you through a friendly backgreen.

Redbraes Community Garden are celebrating the results of months of hard work, not to mention the success of winning £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund Breathing Places Fund and support from Edinburgh city council. But though money matters it’s people who make gardens grow.

Led by Simon, the local community policeman, volunteers of all ages have been hard at work behind the houses of Redbraes. On an almost hidden site running down to the Water of Leith they have been turning a hard landscaping plan into reality: with raised beds for growing vegetables, an outdoor classroom, a wildlife area and a bonfire circle.


As garden designer Becky Govier says, “We have a great team of volunteers. This is the first community garden I have designed and I have found it incredibly rewarding”.

Food, drink and plants for the Open Day have all been donated by local businesses with perhaps just a little gentle persuasion from their local policeman. Having picked up the generous donation of plants from the Botanics, Simon went on to collect a box of white tiles from B&Q (“which they sold me for a pound – thanks to my colleague Lee Jack who donated said pound!”), £100 of free food from Scotmid and soft drinks for 100 people from Beetroot Blue.

Just one thing missing. Says Simon: “I’ve yet to source a BBQ and anyone who can lend one for the day would be much appreciated?!?!”

volunteers 1

Meet some of the volunteers making Redbraes Community Garden grow

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