The Lions’ Gate Garden at Edinburgh Napier University

The Lions’ Gate Garden is an urban permaculture project based at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus. It is supported by the School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment, the School of Arts & Creative Industries, and Properties & Facilities.

The project’s design and development are guided by 12 permaculture principles and three core ethics: people care, planet care and fair share. In following these, the garden seeks to provide a safe, welcoming, and inspirational space for students, staff, local and international communities. It seeks to empower individuals by envisioning and ‘doing’ sustainable and regenerative activities; growing sustainable futures through exploration and immersion in nature whilst investigating the impact of digital media on the environment.

With the support of many, The Lions’ Gate Garden now includes:

  • Outdoor classroom
  • Green-roof
  • Ponds
  • Storytelling throne
  • Staging
  • Living-geodesic-dome
  • Relaxation space
  • Water-harvesting systems
  • Pathways
  • Power and plumbing
  • A sustainability library
  • And many other creative interventions by and for students, staff, and the public.

The project has led to further regeneration of spaces on campus including a rooftop allotment and rewilding space. It has also influenced conversations at university and societal levels.

Lions’ Gate has published papers on the project, been awarded 4* in a 2021 Research Excellence Framework Impact Case Study on ‘Blended Spaces Design,’ and contributed to publications and events concerned with planetary and human health. In September 2022, Lions’ Gate organised another amazing Open Day event as part of Climate Fringe, Great Big Green Week and Permaculture Association’s My Green Community.

  • 2023
  • Permaculture Magazine Award
Photo: The Lions’ Gate Garden at Edinburgh Napier University

Project information