I’m thrilled that the hard work of many volunteers, students and staff over the past few years, and the collaborative application efforts of Rachel McCrea, Clive Gee, and myself, has resulted in The Lions’ Gate being shortlisted for the LUSH Spring Prize in the Permaculture Magazine category. A big thank you to everyone involved along the way, and fingers crossed for success, which would enable us to employ a horticulturist and volunteer co-ordinator – securing the project going forward.
The Lions’ Gate is an on-campus garden laboratory, venue, outdoor classroom, bio-diverse habitat, and play-pit for doing sustainable things, that seeks to address the climate crisis head-on, influence policy and learning, and fundamentally work with nature for planetary and human health.
We are a solutions-focused group employing Permaculture Design Principles and Ethics to realise a green university, where community, health & well-being, creativity and quality learning and research are core to all our thinking and doing.
It’s been a challenging year but we’ve had many successes – fantastic creative input from SACI and SCEBE Placement Students – involving, murals, a green roof, ponds, a wayfinder, photography, 3D animations, branding, pergola design, and a bespoke environmental sensor system; amazing volunteer input from Paul Ardin (3 bin composter, trunk benches, dome development), a wonderful community Open Day as part of the Climate Fringe; significant 4* recognition from REF 2021; association with Napier’s short-listing for the Times Higher Education University of the Year Award, and now a short-listing for the LUSH Spring Prize! Quite dizzying when I think about it.
Returning to the now, I’d just like to say a personal big thank you to current volunteer Tanya, a Ukrainian refugee, presently living with her family on a ship docked in Leith. Tanya is a trained horticulturist and has proved to be an extremely talented professional who has kept things going these past few months, regardless of arriving with virtually no English. Her circumstances have certainly put things into perspective for me.
Finally, none of our success would have been possible without you, so please get involved again in 2023, and in the meantime have a Mirthful Christmas and a Joyful New Year!