We’re delighted to announce that Dr Jenny Roe, Lecturer in the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University, is our latest Beltane Public Engagement Fellow. Jenny was selected from applicants to our February 2013 deadline.
Jenny’s research looks at the relationship between the natural environment and wellbeing. Her Beltane Fellowship will look at ways in which botanical gardens can be made accessible to a more socially diverse range of users, using the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh as a case study.
At present, botanical gardens tend to be used mostly by middle-class, white people, which is not always representative of the population living near the gardens. As a result, more deprived communities can miss out on the health and wellbeing benefits of botanical gardens even though they live close to them. Jenny’s Beltane-supported project will explore how the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh can be made more accessible to nearby communities such as Pilton or Leith.
A key part of Jenny’s Fellowship will be the initiation of a process to design a new nature play space at the Botanics. The new space will be developed incrementally through a process that requires the participation of local communities. This development process will allow the communities involved to have ownership of what is created.
Jenny’s Beltane Fellowship commenced at the start of April and will last for six months. If you fancy being a Beltane Fellow, check out our latest call!