Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Get Involved

There are many ways to be involved in the sustainable food movement both on campus and in the city.

On Campus

Food Growing

King's Buildings Allotment

The King’s Buildings Allotment is located behind the Darwin Building. The allotment is maintained by the University’s Allotment and Permaculture Society. Vegetables, fruits and wild flowers abound!

Members of the Society meet at the allotment every Wednesday and Sunday during term time from 1 pm onwards. Anyone with an interest growing and gardening is welcome to join. 

Easter Bush Veg Garden

The Easter Bush Veg Garden was developed on a plot of land allocated by Estates and Buildings in conjunction with Vet School. This space allows staff and students to work the land in order to produce fruit, vegetables and greenery.

The Garden’s mission is to provide gardening and greening opportunities for the physical and social benefit of the staff and students at the Easter Bush Campus.

The Garden aims to:

  • Develop and maintain a place for recreation
  • Build community and enhance the staff/student bond through play and relaxation
  • Have a place of gathering and solitude
  • Contribute to the health and well‐being of the individuals involved

Membership is open to students and staff, but all visitors, staff and students are welcome to sit or walk around the Garden. Plot-holders can grow vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers in individual or shared garden plots, and participate in group work parties to care for the garden commons and native plant areas. The Garden is jointly managed by a core voluntary committee comprising staff and students.

Further activities to encourage food growing around the Easter Bush Campus are planned for 2015-16. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Sharon Boyd (

Informatics Forum Roof Garden The Informatics Roof Garden is on the 4th floor terrace of the Informatics Forum. They grow strawberries, herbs, salads and anything else that will grow in relatively shallow soil. Informatics Forum staff and students can get involved by contacting David Sterratt (


Student Societies

Fairtrade Cafe Fairtrade Café serves bread, soup and cakes made with sustainable and ethically-sourced ingredients in the Chaplaincy Auditorium every Monday time between 1pm and 1:45pm. The proceeds are donated to a chosen charity at the end of each year. 
Hearty Squirrel Cooperative

The Hearty Squirrel is a student-led cooperative run by volunteers, providing affordable, healthy, local, ethical and organic food to the University community.

The group sells organic dried foods from their shop in the basement of George Square Lecture Theatre every Monday of term between 11 am and 3 pm.

The group sells locally sourced, organic Veg Bags from their George Square shop every Thursday of term between 11 and 5 pm, and from the KB Centre at King’s Buildings between 12 and 2 pm. Join the Facebook Group for frequent updates.

Vegetarian Society

VegSoc exists to celebrate vegetarian and vegan cuisine. The society receives discounts at local eateries and runs foodie events for vegetarians, vegans and anyone who enjoys plant-based food.

VegSoc runs weekly potlucks open to all every Friday of term from 7 pm in the Ochill Room at Pleasance. 

Food Sharing Edinburgh!

Food Sharing Edinburgh is a movement aiming to reduce food waste by connecting people with excess food to people who want to eat it. The project provides a platform for individuals wanting to share food and it also organises collections from participating local businesses.

You are invited to offer up or find food on the project’s Facebook group. To become a volunteer and collect food from local businesses please email


Other projects and services

ESCAPE food bank collection

ESCAPE (Edinburgh Students Coalition Against Poverty) runs a food bank collection on the first Wednesday of every month during term time. The collections take place in the University Chaplaincy between 12 and 2 pm.

Donated foods are given to a local food bank, providing immediate relief to individuals and families suffering from poverty in our local area.

Healthy University Project The University is a member of the National Healthy Universities Network and our Healthy University Project aims to actively promote and deliver tangible health and wellbeing benefits for the University community.

Foodwise is a pilot research project based at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. It aims to facilitate an online dialogue about the complex issues surrounding sustainable and healthy food, through a project blog and Facebook page.

Foodwise is looking for bloggers to share their thoughts on sustainable food choices, healthy recipes, gardening and more. If you have a passion for food and would like to contribute then please get in touch through Facebook. 


In the city

Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust Use the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust’s map to find a community garden in your area.


Start your own food growing project

Want to start your own food growing project at the University? You should follow our approval process designed to help staff and students establish new growing initiatives. 

To get started, just register your interest using the form below:

Add another a project to this list

Want to see you project listed here? Get in touch with Alexis Heeren.


Alexis Heeren

Projects Coordinator

Contact details


  • Alexis became interested in engagement after facilitating a course to help University members cut their carbon footprints. Alexis leads our Office Awards programme and coordinates the department's sustainable food activities.