Cramond shoreline

Our shoreline is a space for recreation, habitats and wildlife

Our shoreline is a space for recreation, habitats and wildlife

Our shoreline is a space for recreation, habitats and wildlife

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About Edinburgh Shoreline

What have we lost and what have we gained?

What legacy will we leave for future generations?

Dunlin

Since the first settlers discarded their empty seashells around Cramond nearly 10,000 years ago, people have lived beside the Forth and made their living from it. In the last two centuries we have reshaped the land to meet the needs of industry. We have fished the estuary dry and used it as a dump for our waste. Until recently Edinburgh had largely turned its back on its coast.

Nature is squeezed into an ever narrower strip between engineered sea defences and city expansion. Plants and animals are responding to change; colonising environments created by us; claiming derelict land; thriving in the remaining wild areas. Although much has been lost, the natural world maintains its grip all along Edinburgh’s coast. Efforts to create more space for plants and animals will increase the shoreline’s attractiveness for everyone.

Edinburgh Shoreline explores and celebrates the city’s 27km (almost 17 miles) coastline. It looks at the relationship between people and the sea; it uncovers the rich plant and animal life that survives and even thrives; it identifies the challenges that coastal communities face from piecemeal development to loss of their shoreline.

Local communities, from South Queensferry to Joppa, are not only contributing to our exhibition but are actively helping to shape its legacy. The aim is to rediscover Edinburgh’s shoreline as a place to live and visit.

Explore the shoreline for yourself on foot or cycle. Nature will surprise you - from the creatures in the rock pools to the birds feeding on the mudflats and plants reclaiming derelict ground. Streets and buildings will engage you with their stories of Edinburgh’s rich maritime past.

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