Lauriston Farm is a large urban farm in North West Edinburgh, covering 100 acres from the Cramond shoreline to Lauriston Castle. In 2020, Edinburgh Agroecology Coop (EAC) took over the lease of the farm with a new vision for the land – for food production, enhancing biodiversity and community involvement.
Lauriston Farm aims to provide healthy, fresh, affordable food for the local community, and to be a place where people can learn how to grow food in a nature-rich environment.
Much of the farm is dedicated to food production. The market garden and community growing plots were established in early 2022, and will expand in 2023 and beyond. Future plans also include a new community orchard and an agroforestry alley crop system for the market garden.
Lauriston Farm is a local response to the growing challenges of climate change and biodiversity collapse. In the first winter on the farm, Edinburgh Agroecology Coop organised over 450 volunteers to plant nearly 10,000 tree and hedgerow saplings. Future plans include more tree planting, expansion of an existing wetland, creation of new amphibian ponds and wildflower meadows, and a protected zone for the endangered bird species nesting on the farm.
The food growing methods are nature-friendly and rejuvenate the soil, supporting healthy plants and microbial life.
Lauriston Farm is run for the benefit of local residents and the wider city. The community has been involved from the start, with over 1000 people providing their input to the first consultation. 12 community allotments were established in the first year, with plans for expanding up to 50 plots over the next five years. The farm offers volunteering opportunities in the community garden and market garden, tree planting days and nature surveys. There are events, courses, gatherings and cultural events such as the Harvest Festival. Future plans include a community hub and seed saving library, more opportunities for local schools and groups, apprenticeships and accredited learning pathways, and hosting local micro-businesses with shared aims. Also, much of the farm is open for people to walk around and enjoy the stunning panoramic views over the Firth.