Belhaven Community Garden Consultations News

The Future of Belhaven Community Garden

NHS Lothian have announced the closure of Belhaven Hospital and of their intention to dispose of the site, including Belhaven Community Garden, as ‘surplus’ to their requirements.

Do you support taking the site of Belhaven Community Garden into community ownership so as to protect this asset for the benefit of our community in the long term?

Please respond to this survey!


In 1905, the site of Belhaven Hospital was gifted to the community by the Warrender Estate for the purposes of supporting public health. The deeds state that any land not used for hospital buildings was to be used for agricultural purposes or for ‘pleasure grounds’ for use of the hospital.

In 2012, with the support of NHS Lothian, Sustaining Dunbar took over management of the grounds and established Belhaven Community Garden under the auspices of the NHS Lothian Community Gardens Steering Group. Since then we have established a thriving community garden, providing: 

  • A Therapeutic Space–for peace and relaxation, for staff, patients, visitors and local people.
  • A Growing Space–for herbs, flowers, fruit and vegetables, for anyone who wants to come together with others in a supportive, sharing environment.
  • A Learning Space–for sharing practical food growing and regenerative land-care skills, for all ages and abilities.
  • A Biodiverse Space -for developing the range and variety of habitats so as to enhance the number and variety of species in the garden and its soil.

Since 2012, the garden has provided wide-ranging public health benefits for many individuals and groups. With the closure of Belhaven Hospital, Sustaining Dunbar is submitting an ‘asset transfer request’ to NHS Lothian so as to ensure that the land stays in community ownership and so that we can continue to maintain and further develop Belhaven Community Garden. By taking ownership and full control of the garden, we anticipate being able to expand activities so as to reach even more people and groups across the local community in future.

There is a wider question around the future of the current hospital buildings. We hope that there can be a participatory process put in place to fully involve local people in decisions about this.