Category Archives: Community

PEDAL AGM, 28th January 2022

Our upcom­ing AGM is on Friday 28 January at 6 pm.  Here is the link to enable you to join the meeting: You can find the sup­port­ing doc­u­ments in the link below.

Following the usu­al, brief AGM busi­ness there will be a talk by three speak­ers reflect­ing on Cop 26: Dr Paul Rouse, Carbon cap­ture spe­cial­ist at Imperial College pre­vi­ously Climate Change adviser to the UN for the Carnegie Foundation, Kim Ward and Justin Kenrick.

This will be fol­lowed by a dis­cus­sion about the poten­tial ped­es­tri­an­isa­tion of Portobello High Street fol­low­ing a work­shop on this theme at the Heart Talk Porty event last November.


POD need help for the Village fair 2015 to happen!

The Village Show in early September has become a very pop­u­lar event in the Portobello Calendar. POD have recog­nised that they don’t have the capa­city to organ­ise the event this year, unless they find new people to help. If you are inter­ested then please get in touch with POD by mail­ing


Please take a look at this short film.

Electric Bungalow Community Garden


Members of the Electric Bungalow Community Garden would like to thank the wider com­munity in Portobello for all their sup­port and encour­age­ment after the garden on Bath Street was bull­dozed last Thursday.

bath st memorial

Please feel free to drop by and add some­thing (per­haps draw a flower on the pave­ment, weave cloth or wool into the fence) to add to our memori­al just outside.

The group is con­sid­er­ing our next steps and will post plans on the face­book group and the PEDAL web­site in due course.

PEDAL ‘Street Level’ — make it happen on your street!


Would you love to have a street party on your street — but nev­er got round to mak­ing it hap­pen? Or do you think car-shar­ing with a few people who live close by would make sense, but you’re not sure how to go about it? Maybe you think it’s crazy that 10 people in your street have a lawn mower, when you could all just use the same one?

If so, Street Level may be for you.

It’s not com­plic­ated – just the chance to bring togeth­er a bunch of people who’d like to start some­thing good on their street — so they can share a bit of mor­al and prac­tical sup­port. Let’s get togeth­er, share ideas and resources and sup­port one anoth­er to make good things hap­pen on our streets.

The kinds of things we might do are:

Organise street parties

Join Streetbank

Get on-street bike storage

Start com­munity gardens

Build on-street planters/trees

Make or com­mis­sion pub­lic art

Share chick­ens

Start food/solar/insulation co-ops…

… stuff like that.

If you’re inter­ested, email or call Eva

Join PEDAL’s (FREE!) Trip to West Kilbride — 30th May


We’ll be leav­ing at 9.30am and return­ing by 5.30pm. Places must be booked — there are ten left: first come, first served, so hurry, hurry.  Email to book your place. Hope you can join us!

We’re hir­ing a minibus to go and vis­it one of Scotland’s real suc­cess stor­ies! A small com­munity which has turned its for­tunes around and re-vital­ised its High Street, buy­ing up empty shops and estab­lish­ing itself as Scotland’s Craft Town.

We want to hear first hand how they did it.

Our High Street is a very import­ant part of our com­munity and we want to see what kind of things we could do to make it more resi­li­ent and respons­ive to loc­al needs, includ­ing buy­ing prop­er­ties and start­ing social enter­prises. West Kilbride Development Trust has a lot to teach us about all this.

See more of their story below.


West Kilbride was once a thriv­ing coastal town, with a boast that the needs of res­id­ents could be catered for from the cradle to the grave.  A pop­u­lar hol­i­day des­tin­a­tion for Glaswegians hol­i­day­ing ‘doon the water’, at its peak loc­al bus com­pan­ies had to lay on addi­tion­al buses dur­ing the Glasgow Fair.

By the mid 1990’s the town’s for­tunes had taken a ser­i­ous dip, with 21 out of 40 retail busi­nesses hav­ing ceased trad­ing.  A loc­al tragedy gal­van­ised West Kilbride res­id­ents  and politi­cians alike, a pub­lic meet­ing was organ­ised  in 1996 by the area’s MP, loc­al inde­pend­ent Councillor  and oth­er loc­al act­iv­ists.  The area’s assets were explored and, as tour­ism was a key industry in the area, it was agreed that the town would add to this by devel­op­ing a spe­cial­ised theme to help revital­ise itself.  Since the idea was first developed and WKCIL was formed in 1998, the cre­ation of Scotland’s only des­ig­nated Craft and Design town has under­pinned a remark­able renais­sance in the retail and com­munity hub of West Kilbride.

Despite lim­ited resources and against a nation­al tide of town centre decline, the retail heart of the town has been pre­served.  To date, this has been achieved at a rel­at­ively low cost to the pub­lic purse and a sig­ni­fic­ant amount of com­munity fun­drais­ing.  Recognised nation­ally as an exem­plar of enter­prise, the pivotal role of the craft and design stu­di­os as West Kilbride’s “unique selling point” has been the driver of the town’s eco­nom­ic regeneration.

This innov­at­ive com­munity led pro­ject is an inspir­a­tion to North Ayrshire and its people because the cre­ation of Craft Town Scotland has man­aged to turn loc­al eco­nom­ic prob­lems into pos­it­ive enter­pris­ing action. It may not be a huge com­mer­cial pro­ject, but the Craft Town has added real artist­ic and cul­tur­al value to the area, bring­ing long-term and deeply felt changes to the loc­al eco­nomy.  Jobs have been cre­ated and secured, and the qual­ity of life for the people of West Kilbride is better.

Next Steps to New Site for Community Wind Energy Project

Long stand­ing sup­port­ers of PEDAL will remem­ber that we won a UK-wide fund­ing com­pet­i­tion, in part­ner­ship with Greener Leith, to help us build a com­munity owned wind tur­bine at Seafield.

visualisation of how the turbines will look from a local access route.

Visualisation of how the tur­bines will look from a loc­al access route.

P&L Turbine hub-heightAlthough Scottish Water sub­sequently pulled out of the deal, pre­vent­ing us from build­ing a tur­bine at Seafield, we did not give up, and are now pleased to be able to con­firm that we’ve secured a new site for the com­munity tur­bine pro­ject — four kilo­metres south west of Inverness.

The agree­ment fol­lows a year of com­plex nego­ti­ations. The land deal gives us exclus­ive rights to con­duct stud­ies at the site and build two wind tur­bines of up to 800KWp capa­city each.

P&L Turbine tomfat-mapTo take the pro­ject for­wards we have estab­lished a joint ven­ture com­pany which is major­ity owned by PEDAL and Greener Leith. Consultants to the pro­ject, SCENE, own a minor­ity (five per­cent) stake.

In addi­tion, plan­ning per­mis­sion has recently been gran­ted to install a met mast on the site to meas­ure the wind resource, which will hap­pen in the next month or so.

The next step is to meet with the com­munit­ies near to the site.  We hope loc­al non-profit groups will become part­ners in the pro­ject too, and are offer­ing them the chance to invest in, and become part own­ers of it. We want this to be a pro­ject that brings real envir­on­ment­al and fin­an­cial bene­fits, not just to our own com­munit­ies, but to those where the tur­bines will be located.

We’ve already begun this pro­cess and will be present­ing on the pro­ject at Strathnairn Community Council’s meet­ing on 26th May.

The aim is to sub­mit a full plan­ning applic­a­tion to Highland Council some­time in August. If it gets plan­ning per­mis­sion, the pro­ject could gen­er­ate an estim­ated £7m sur­plus over the twenty year lifespan of the pro­ject, to be dis­trib­uted between the com­munity groups who invest in the pro­ject — includ­ing PEDAL  and Greener Leith.

A spokes­per­son for the pro­ject said:

“Signing a land deal is a huge mile­stone for this pro­ject. PEDAL and Greener Leith volun­teers have worked for years on this pro­ject and both organ­isa­tions remain firmly com­mit­ted to com­munity-owned renew­able energy. Our atten­tion is now focussed on identi­fy­ing poten­tial non-profit com­munity part­ners loc­al to the site who we can work with to help us take the pro­ject for­wards and share in the sub­sequent benefits.

“Although a lot still needs to hap­pen before we can be cer­tain the pro­ject will go ahead, we hope to put in a full plan­ning applic­a­tion later in the year, with a view to start­ing con­struc­tion on site in 2015. We’d like to thank all the people who have got behind the pro­ject, espe­cially our key fun­ders, for their ongo­ing support.”

You can find out more about the pro­ject at the spe­cially set-up web­site at

Apple Festival, 12 – 4pm, 6th October at the Botanics

Apple Festival

From 12.00 noon — 4.00 pm at the John Hope Gateway

An annu­al cel­eb­ra­tion of apples. The Saturday will fea­ture apple advice and iden­ti­fic­a­tion from 10am whilst the Sunday will include apple juice tast­ing. See and taste a wide selec­tion of apple vari­et­ies from 12pm both days, and find out how to grow them yourself.

This event is also run­ning from 10am — 4pm on Saturday 5 October.

With the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Portobello Market, Saturday 3rd August

Will the heat wave come to the mar­ket!? Who knows, but it does­n’t mat­ter either way because there’s always a warm atmo­sphere and lots of fun to be had at the market.

There’ll be live music and face paint­ing of course.

It’s been a great year so far for Portobello Market, and August looks like a bump­er crop of traders, the most so far this year. We’ll even have a real espresso cof­fee van on site! Woohoo! 

Our loy­al reg­u­lars are there with their organ­ic meats, breads, fruit & veg, oils, cheeses, candles, soaps and garden fur­niture, togeth­er with crafts, out­door garden fur­niture, plants, nat­ur­al rem­ed­ies & ther­apies. The list goes on. Amazing variety!

Check out the PEDAL web­site for more details and for a full list of stall­hold­ers.

So come along between 9.30 and 1.30 at Brighton Park on Brighton Place, Portobello, and join in the fun.

Get your Porty branded T‑shirts!

A must-have for Porty fans near and far!

Home sweet home t-shirtPrice £12.50 for adults, £9 for kids.

We have 2 styles both made from Fairtrade cot­ton, I Love Porty and our pop­u­lar Home Sweet Home design com­plete with grid co-ordin­ates for Porty Prom.

All sizes avail­able in fest­ive red or white — S – XL stand­ard fit and 10 – 16 lady fit plus 4 chil­dren’s sizes to suit age 5 – 13. We also have some in Porty pink, roy­al blue or grey for the ladies.

Get your orders in quickly in time to catch the Xmas post! Call 0131 669 1124 — we can deliv­er locally…

Exciting dates for your diary!

Saturday Aug 27th 2−30−4.30 — Local Currency Event

Join us at Old Parish Church Hall, Belfield Street, to dis­cuss how to get an Edinburgh-wide loc­al cur­rency in place by this time next year (for more inform­a­tion, scroll down to the earli­er post on the subject).

Saturday Sept 3rd — Next Organic Market in Brighton Park

This will be the 1st anniversary of the mar­ket and — as well as the won­der­ful stalls — will include:

- a series of brief inspir­ing films from 10.30 and an organ­ic pic­nic (bring your own food or buy at the mar­ket) from 12.30 as PEDAL becomes one of 12 com­munit­ies across Scotland host­ing a ‘Blasta’ event cel­eb­rat­ing Local Food. (Blasta is Gaelic for ‘tasty’).

- a Big Things On The Beach pub­lic art event from 10 called TOXME which you are invited to par­ti­cip­ate in, an event which high­lights the tox­ic chem­ic­als we are exposed to in our daily foods and lives.

Sunday Sept 4th — POD’s Portobello Village Fair (2−5)

As well as con­trib­ut­ing to the light-hearted home grown veget­ables com­pet­i­tion, PEDAL will have  two stalls: one for the Orchard and bee keep­ing group, and one to enable people to ask ques­tions about our pro­posed com­munity-owned Turbine.

Saturday Sept 24th — Car Free Day (set off at 2)

- Meet at 2pm at the Cake Stand at the bot­tom of Marlborough Street to cycle along the Prom to the beach below the pro­posed Turbine site at Seafield, or join  us at the orch­ard any­time after 10 for the monthly work day and Equinox cel­eb­ra­tions and then cycle down to join every­one for the 2pm start.

- This year kids are going to need to per­suade their par­ents to help them dress up their bike before­hand, and we will be encour­aging row­ers, canoests and sail­ors to join us in demon­strat­ing fossil fuel free travel! We may even stretch to a time tri­al: see­ing how well a car, a bike, a skate­board, a skiff do racing against each oth­er if none of them are fossil fueled!