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Suntrap Garden to CLOSE


Yesterday we got the awful news that due to cut backs Oatridge College who run lifelong learning classes at Suntrap Garden are handing the garden back to the National Trust for Scotland at the end of July. The NTS are themselves in trouble financially and it looks as if the garden will be shut permanently unless someone appears very quickly with a rescue package. The volunteers who help in the garden are willing to continue to support the garden and the Friends of Suntrap also want to continue to support the garden. There is doubt about what will happen to the National Bonsai Collection which is housed in the garden. A new bonsai house is nearing completion. In the last year volunteers have been keeping the garden open to visitors over the weekends and visitor numbers have increased as have sales of plants grown to help maintain the garden. If you have not yet visited this treasure then please do so before the gates close for the last time. If you think it should be saved for its teaching facility which will be impossible to replicate at Oatridge then write to your MSP, MP, etc. So much lottery money is going to support the Olympic games but we need funding now for a basic educational facility for the most vulnerable members of society. On this site alone day in and day out we see people asking basic gardening questions like how to grow potatoes. At Suntrap, adult education night classes cater for the increasing numbers who want to learn about gardening.

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These are sad times ! Sadly with more to follow. Do hope something will be done to save this lovely place, can you take some photos ?

12 Jun, 2010


I could not do the garden justice but if you look at the link below you will see what a wonderful facility this is.
Thank you for caring. We need all the faith we can muster that a solutioncan be found. The Scottish Rock Garden Club also base their seed bank service at Suntrap.

12 Jun, 2010


Surely someone will come forward and save it at the last hour???

12 Jun, 2010


It's not over till the fat lady sings and I do not feel like singing just now. We have to believe that something can work.

12 Jun, 2010


I have just caught up with blogs, and, rerading this and Csarina's, I am so very sad about this. Have still, as you know, to see this jewel of a place for myself, but, when I do, it will be so familiar through my searches, and the pics I have seen here and elsewhere.

Don't have an answer, being an ordinary gardener, who also enjoys garden history and education. The Lottery Fund was first that came into my mind. I'm surprised that the tutors needed payment - really!! when so many other folks are helping out as volunteers to keep it going.

I'm furious, when I think of the millions of pounds flowing down the drains in the streets of Edinburgh to construct a "green" tram system, which has become such a contentious issue that it will have to be completed, no matter how far over budget it runs, because of this very fact, and regardless of how unpoular this has become, beacause of the cost and waste of finances/ bad financial estimates.

I'll get my thinking cap on, and keep my eyes and ears open!

12 Jun, 2010


Thank you David. Without the one full time member of staff and the 3 part time members of staff who keep this place in tip top condition with the help of the volunteers there would be no Suntrap. The students with learning difficulties and from the special schools are helped by innovative staff who do not see them as disabled but just people with different needs. Would you believe a blind person can garden and sow seeds etc. At Suntrap "Of course they can". The staff are inspiring and dedicated to the students and the garden. The volunteers are drawn from members of the various groups who meet at Suntrap. They are gardeners with a range of abilities who work under the guidance of the professionals. I can pot with the best of them now. Before the open day I was one of the volunteers who helped pot up or pot on the hundreds of plants produced to help offset costs. I started my nursing at East Fortune in a ward for mentally and physically disabled children. It was a place full of caring staff who tried very hard to give those children in our care the love and support they needed. We also had to support parents whose only option in those days, once a child became too much work for a parent to cope with 24 hours a day, was to allow them to be admitted to a full time residential facility. We were heart broken when any of our children left us to go to Gogarburn, the adult hospital where the RBS now have their Head quarters, as it was like condemning them to Hell. The staff were equally as dedicated but there was never enough of them. The last 50 years have brought changes beyond our wildest dreams. No longer are children with any handicap written off. In the the late 70's when my own daughter, at age 14, had to attend the special school in Edinburgh after surgery for arthritis, because she could not cope with the building at the school she normally attended, she met only caring staff and pupils who were kind and helpful to her. Some of them were taking "O" grades in the same subjects as she was, but for various reasons needed the shelter of the special school. I feel very worried that that progress will be put back 50 years if we are to write off those most vulnerable members of our society not because they are less able to fight the closures themselves but because of the need to keep Oatridge College and its facilities going. The National Trust are also not in a great financial position, enough to be able to support the work being done at Suntrap. At the moment the press releases are saying the garden and its facilities will close at the end of July. There is little time to bring in a Ruth Watson to show what could be done. Maybe Beechgrove could be persuaded to feature the closure but time is so short. The staff and Friends were told they had 2 weeks from last Wednesday to come up with a rescue plan. HELP!!!!

13 Jun, 2010


What a travesty, could the local paper come to their aid ?

13 Jun, 2010


The news was in the press but what we need is a strategy to harness the energy that has been ploughed in to Suntrap Education Centre and Garden and that is almost impossible given the short time we have to come up with a plan. The groups in Suntrap work as seperate units with no thought to needing to come together except in cases like the Open Day when each group pitches in and works together for the greater good. The Staff usually organise what everybody will do, but at the moment they are reeling at the prospect of not only losing their jobs, in a diminishing market, but in the case of the Director of Studies losing his home too. I believe the Friends of Suntrap have a meeting planned but as far as I am aware no one else has been invited to the meeting.

13 Jun, 2010


An update on progress towards saving Suntrap. A web site has been set up link is
Please visit the site and offer support by adding to the guestbook. Any suggestions on how to take the campaign forward will also be very welcome.
Thank you all for your interest so far.

13 Jul, 2010

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