Phew! Since opening in May, over 130 events have taken place in the Botanic Cottage, organised by a range of people across the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh as well as by independent community and charitable organisations, and attended by almost 3,500 people; indeed, the big opening celebration – the Cottage Garden Gala – was attended by over 2,000 people alone! It’s been pretty busy! We’ve had cooking sessions for community groups to dementia socials, volunteer lunches to public talks, charity meetings to community fun days, school sessions to nursery activities, art workshops for people with Parkinson’s to regular reading groups, and SO much more. Parent and toddler groups, family support organisations, youth groups, community campaign groups, older people’s activity clubs and many other types of group have come and made use of the building. The cottage has not only enabled many new activities to take place in the Botanics, it has also been possible for many established programmes in RBGE to build on their existing work and use the cottage for new strands of activity.
We’ve ensured that every few weeks the cottage is open to the public for a tour, a talk or some other public event, and we’ve just put up new signs beside the cottage which have the dates of upcoming openings as we know that there’s a lot of interest from the public.
All in all, we’re delighted that after a hectic few months getting it ready, the Botanic Cottage is now a thriving hub for community and education, with lots more events planned for the year ahead.