Edinburgh Local

The green micro-grants 2021

In the run up to COP26, The University of Edinburgh ran 'The Green Micro-grants', a grants scheme for community projects with the natural environment and social impact at their heart.

In November 2021, Glasgow will be hosting the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). This conference brings together countries from all over the world in order to address the climate crisis.

Through its micro-grant scheme, the University aims to support community organisations and charities based in the Edinburgh region to do their bit to tackle climate change and the biodiversity crisis, and improve the sustainability of our local spaces and communities. 

Groups could apply for up to £1000 through our micro-grant scheme for small scale community activities. The purpose of the scheme was to provide micro-grants to community groups, charities or businesses for projects which aim to: 

  1. Improve their local natural environment and 

  1. Have a positive social impact for local communities 


Green handprints

Projects funded in round eight of the Community Grants Scheme

Pennies Pantry (West Lothian Financial Inclusion Network)

This project aims to set up and offer local residents of Stoneyburn the option to purchase food at reduced prices locally. This projects ensure local residents have dignified access to food whilst reducing the number of items going to landfill. 


Pennywell Verges Research and Development Project (North Edinburgh Arts (NEA))

North Edinburgh Arts will engage their local community in the importance of creating habitats for pollinating insects and the importance of pollinators in our food chain, through creative workshops and visits to local greenspaces. The project will also provide research and development for a larger art installation in the community in 2022.


Rewilding in Life and Death (The Ridge)

The Ridge intend to work in their Church graveyard, rolling out a rewilding programme that will increase the biodiversity of a beautiful town space. Creative planting around the headstones will preserve their integrity and attract wild life and pollinators as well as providing a beautiful area for the community. 


Summer Session (Leith Community Growers)

This project is to support and develop the Leith Community Growers gardening sessions that take place in and around some of Edinburgh’s most densely populated communities on Leith Walk. They work with people across their local community planting herbs, making planters, growing wheat and much more!


Flourishing Forests (Three Hares Woodland)

Flourishing Forests will run a volunteer-led tree care programme for maintenance of >3000 newly planted native forest. Tree care is a critical component for ensuring the success of new woodlands and will support education and wellbeing for the local community. They will establish a Wildflower Working Group in collaboration with an experienced archeo-botanist for the reintroduction of native wildflowers into new woodland. 


Growing Craigmillar Now (Craigmillar Now)

In the grounds of Craigmillar Now’s Arts Centre there is a sculpture dedicated to Patrick Geddes, which reads ‘Place, Work, Folk’. Inspired by Geddes, the team at Craigmillar Now want to develop the surrounding space into a beautiful community garden, planted and cared for by local volunteers and open to everyone.


A breath of fresh air (EOTDT for Crannie Hub)

The Crannie wants to encourage their visitors to spend more time outdoors by creating a safe space at their community hub in the form of a mini oasis to take in the wonderful view, in a sheltered spot, with a bench surrounded by greenery.    


Growing All Year Round in Winchburgh (Winchburgh Community Growing Group)

Winchburgh Community Growing Group aims to offer good food to everyone, encourage healthier lifestyle, protect and support biodiversity, inspire our future generation and skill the community we live.  'Growing All Year Round' in will help us provide the infrastructure we need to be able to grow fruits and vegetables for the community all year round.  


Befriending Astley Ainslie’s rare and endangered trees (Astley Ainslie Community Trust)

The Astley Ainslie hospital in the south of Edinburgh is a large, tree-filled site which is under threat of development when it goes up for sale. In order to protect the 2000+ mature trees, which include some rare and endangered specimens, they have launched a tree befriending scheme.


Action COP26 (Newlands Kids)

In the 13 weeks leading up to COP26, Newlands Kids will do 2 activities a week which will educate local children in green behaviours, increase biodiversity and provide access to better, sustainable nutrition. The 26 actions will have a tangible impact on our community now and also form lifetime habits.  


Newlands Threads (Newlands Community Development Trust)

This project will trial a Sewing Machine refurbishing and repair service across the Newlands, Lamancha, Kirkurd and West Linton area with a view to expanding the service via partner organisations across the Tweeddale and Scottish Borders area. 


Benefitting Birds, Bees and Bugs for Biodiversity Boosts (University of Edinburgh Ornithological Society)

This group plans to hold a free workshop where participants build bird nest boxes and take away native wildflower seeds to boost local biodiversity and help our breeding birds. This fund will enable them to provide raw materials, instructions and guidance for the workshop, connecting the community with the local environment. 


Families Dig Zone (Greening our Streets)

The Meadows Community Garden project involves the creation of raised beds to enable families to dig and experience growing plants from seeds on public open space. Two benches will be installed to allow families to sit with the children whilst they are learning about growing and caring for plants. 


Provide greener lighting solution for our scout hall and grounds (104th North East Edinburgh Scout Group)

This project will replace existing lighting with modern, energy efficient, units.  This upgrade will allow the  organisation to reduce energy consumption, realise cost savings, and, with respect to the external light replacement, encourage greater use of, and improve security for their extensive green spaces.   


Sowing and Growing (FirstLight Trust)

At the FirstLight Trust community garden in Hawick, this project will support veterans from the armed forces and emergency services in developing and maintaing a sustainable planting area that encourages local wildlife, contributes to the local community and stimulates positive wellbeing and mental health. 


Gaelic Minecroft – Enjoy the Natural Heritage of the Croft (Earth in Common)

In this Gaelic Minecroft series, children come to the pioneering ‘Urban Croft’ in Leith to connect to nature through Gaelic language and the heritage of Scottish crofting traditions. Children get to know the outdoors by playing games and singing songs in Gaelic, building shelters, making fires, and growing food.  


Plants, People, Planet at CCC (Corstorphine Community Centre)

Corstorphine Community Centre aim to create an urban oasis for people, plants, people and the planet. They'll  deliver 8 workshops with socially isolated adults to develop knowledge, skills and an appreciation of the local actions we can take to support climate action. They'll work with social enterprise partners to source ethical materials.