Many of you will have visited the Lions’ Gate garden at Merchiston campus (you get a good view of it from the Library’s Relaxation Space!). Well the good news is that Callum Egan, the garden co-ordinator (working with ENSA, the Business School and the Development Office), has secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Community Climate Asset Fund to develop areas at Craiglockhart and Sighthill campuses.
Raised beds, a water harvesting kit, top soil and compost have already been purchased, along with plants with culinary and medicinal benefits. The fund has also been used to buy apple and plum trees. The team working on this would like to create a micro-forest at Sighthill, and at Craiglockhart there’ll be a small orchard and a thinking walk around the grounds.
Interested? Read more about it in the Lions’ Gate blog
The good news is that the Craiglockhart orchard has now been created. I was lucky enough to be part of a group of 15 helping out with the planting of 2 plum and 10 apple trees. Take a look next time you’re on campus. It’s directly opposite the chapel entrance. Before and after photos below.
Orchard, Chapel Lion’s Gate Garden
Plants Lions’ Gate Garden
On a library-related note! Check out the Garden Collection of books held at Merchiston Library. Merchiston campus too far away? Request items via LibrarySearch.
By Cathryn Buckham
The Lions’ Gate Garden is a permaculture habitat adjacent to the library at Merchiston campus. The gardens, allotment, pond, and outdoor laboratory provide a space to relax and unwind.
Three years ago, Research Fellow and Interaction Design Lecturer Callum Egan sparked the idea of using digital technology and environmentalism to create “techno gardens to make real spaces for people”.
The digital interactions aim to inspire people on educating and taking action for climate change and ecosystems.
Some of these interactions include:
- Augmented realities
- QR codes
- Building food forests
- Wifi and sensor icons
The pandemic has even taught us all to be more resourceful and individuals have shown a growing hobby for urban gardening! As the seasons change at Lions’ Gate, we can be more ‘fruitful’ by generating natural resources, from strawberries to Christmas trees. This creates social spaces and could even make homemade jams and chutneys!
Photo by Dave Michuda on Unsplash
But how can we incorporate more ‘greenness’ into university teaching spaces and libraries?
You can find more information about the Lions’ Gate Garden project in the link below:
Nature is an incredible resource for maintaining our mental health. Simply being outside and experiencing green spaces has proven beneficial to us. Health Awareness Week 2021 is all about the potent value of nature on our minds. Spending time in nature and connecting with the natural world is a free and positive way to help us live happier lives.
Numerous studies on the subject make connections between experiencing nature and improvements to our psychological health, such as the study Understanding Nature and Its Cognitive Benefits by Kathryn E. Schertz and Marc G. Berman . Being in nature can even help you study. Researchers found that taking micro breaks to view a meadow green rooftop improved student’s attention rates. Read more about it here.
Looking for ideas of what to do and where to visit? The Scottish wildlife trust has many options:
On your own and would like to not only connect with nature but people? There is an Edinburgh meetup group you can join here:
For a detailed guide on how to use nature to thrive, you can read this free PDF from Mentalhealth.org and if you need any help or support, you can find it here.