What did PEDAL do last year?

As you may have heard, PEDAL didn’t get fund­ing for the pro­jects we hoped to run this com­ing year, but we thought you’d like to know what we have achieved over the past year!

In an action packed year to 31st March, PEDAL helped Portobello save an estim­ated 175 tonnes CO2e and involved a total of 893 loc­al people in one or more of our six food-related pro­jects, four energy pro­jects, or oth­er activities.

74 people took part in one of ten Dig In Porty! courses we ran. These cov­er­ing top­ics from grow­ing veget­ables (3 courses) to cook­ing with scraps, mak­ing pickles, mak­ing bread, eat­ing sea­son­al pro­duce, prun­ing fruit trees, and mush­room growing.

Portobello Organic Market in Brighton Park has become a reg­u­lar part of Porty life. Five tri­al mar­kets were held selling loc­ally-pro­duced and organ­ic food, drink, arts & crafts, and the mar­ket now set to con­tin­ue into the future as a self-sus­tain­ing enter­prise.  Our cus­tom­er sur­vey showed at least 300 house­holds shop there every month, each buy­ing on aver­age a quarter of that week’s shop­ping from the 34 estab­lished and 16 start-up traders who have had stalls to-date.  27% of cus­tom­ers at the mar­ket have increased the amount of organ­ic pro­duce in their weekly shop, and 77% would like to see more organ­ic and loc­al pro­duce stocked in loc­al shops.

As part of our Insulation Hotspot Campaign, run in part­ner­ship with Energy Saving Scotland advice centre, 297 people com­pleted Home Energy Checks and 30 homes installed loft and/or cav­ity wall insu­la­tion.  A fur­ther 20 house­holds in loc­al tene­ments had home energy advice vis­its and five tene­ments had their shared lofts insu­lated through Portobello Warm Tenements Scheme. We have now pub­lished a book­let giv­ing energy sav­ing advice for res­id­ents of houses both old and new.

By pro­mot­ing Edinburgh Garden Share Scheme loc­ally, PEDAL helped 5 garden own­ers and 7 volun­teer garden­ers get togeth­er to use private gar­dens for grow­ing fruit and veg. They are now cul­tiv­at­ing a total of 327m2 of land.  The scheme was run in part­ner­ship with Care & Repair Edinburgh.

More food could also be grown in future on some of the five viable small sites and/or three lar­ger sites that were iden­ti­fied through Portobello Community Farm feas­ib­il­ity study. A tem­plate com­munity farm busi­ness plan was also pro­duced, and can be adjus­ted for any large-scale site.

291 organ­ic fruit trees have been planted in 82 gar­dens through­out Portobello as part of Fruitful Porty.  This adds to the 90 apples, pears, plums, cher­ries, plus black­cur­rants, goose­ber­ries and a fig tree that are now planted or due to be planted soon at Donkeyfield Community Orchard. We held three fun cel­eb­ra­tions plus monthly work­days at the orch­ard, and 83 school chil­dren have learnt about where fruit comes from, how to grow fruit, and make apple juice.  They have also made ceram­ic labels for the trees at the orch­ard. Once the trees begin to bear fruit, in 2014, Portobello will have 1,944 kg of fruit to use or dis­trib­ute each year!

Our Solar Porty Scheme iden­ti­fied 98 house­holds who were inter­ested in find­ing out wheth­er sol­ar hot water pan­els would work for their home.  Nine house­holds were sur­veyed for their suit­ab­il­ity and 10 more are await­ing sur­veys.  400 people com­pleted Water Efficiency Checks and 20 took part in water sav­ing train­ing delivered by Energy Saving Scotland advice centre.

Our plans for a com­munity owned wind tur­bine hit a big stum­bling block when we found out that the pro­ject couldn’t work at the site we were look­ing at for health and safety reas­ons. However, our new con­sult­ants are explor­ing the poten­tial for a large wind tur­bine at Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works and so far the stud­ies look very prom­ising. This ambi­tious pro­ject will con­tin­ue to devel­op over the com­ing year.

We also gave out 43 Kitchen Canny kits to help people reduce their food waste, held an Energy Fair and a Gardening & Growing Fair (each with over 120 people attend­ing), and gave talks to loc­al schools and churches plus Transition groups in oth­er communities.

We recently sub­mit­ted a fund­ing bid to Heritage Lottery Fund for Portobello, Plot to Plate, a loc­al food her­it­age pro­ject that will be delivered in part­ner­ship with Portobello Heritage Trust. This will identi­fy, record and make avail­able oral his­tory, doc­u­ments and arte­facts relat­ing to food pro­duc­tion and shop­ping in and around Portobello since 1900.

We hope you’ll agree it’s been a busy and pro­duct­ive year for PEDAL, and we will do what we can to pur­sue sus­tain­ab­il­ity pro­jects on behalf of Portobello in 2011-12.

We’d like to give a huge thanks to the staff team and all our volun­teers who put in count­less hours to make the above things happen!

With very best wishes,

All at PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town


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