Staff and pupils at Trinity Primary School say they were excited to welcome an unusual delivery to the school gates today – a load of five tonnes of quality topsoil from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).

In total, 50 tonnes of earth, excavated from the Garden as part of its Edinburgh Biomes project, will go to schools, allotments and community organisations around Edinburgh, supporting local efforts to learn about, protect and enhance the environment.

Trinity Primary School pupils helping to transport soil to the new planters

Steven Poliri, Director of Estates and Facilities at RBGE said: “As the initial works in our Edinburgh Biomes project developed, we found that we were left with quite large quantities of surplus topsoil.

“We thought this would be a great resource for the local community. Balfour Beatty, our partner in these enabling works, is now making all the necessary arrangements for the removal and delivery of the topsoil to organisations around Edinburgh and we are delighted that so many people will benefit.”

Jacqueline Scott, headteacher at Trinity Primary School in Newhaven said: “We are thrilled to receive this wonderful resource, which arrives just in time for the growing season.

“The soil will be used to fill recently built new planters in the school garden where the pupils will grow their own vegetables.

“Hopefully, some of the Botanics’ teams wonderful horticultural skills will be transported along with the soil!”

Jim Blair, Project Director at Balfour Beatty said: “Giving back to local communities is integral in all that we do at Balfour Beatty, ensuring that through our work, we’re leaving a lasting, positive legacy. 

“As we deliver the enabling works for this essential conservation project, we are pleased that this surplus topsoil will enable students to learn more about growing their own plants.

Launched in 2021, the seven-year programme is RBGE’s response to the challenges of the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency. To protect the research institute’s plant science and conservation, the project will also restore the Garden’s iconic heritage Palm Houses, A-listed Front Range Glasshouses and behind-the-scenes research houses.

Learn more about the Botanics’ visionary project at