The EVOC Red Book

The online directory to find third sector Organisations, and their services across Edinburgh


Directory of local groups/projects who are offering specific support during the current COVID-19 pandemic »

In line with Government advice, most groups and organisations in the city have had to take the unfortunate decision to suspend face to face and group work activities. Please telephone or email the contacts listed for the group or organisation if you are interested in their work to check what alternative arrangements might be available or to find out about alternative groups or services in your area.

We offer engaging educational programmes for school groups, tailored to meet the Experiences and Outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence. We have programmes for Nursery Groups, Primary Schools and Secondary Schools. We also offer a winter outreach programme, a JASS workshop and an outdoor education programme tailored to meet the needs of special needs classes.

Our programmes, which are located at The Water of Leith Visitor Centre, 24 Lanark Road, Edinburgh, provide experiential learning opportunities in our fully resourced classroom, our popular interactive river exhibition and on the banks of the Water of Leith. The Programmes are supported by the City of Edinburgh Council's Children and Families Department.

Primary School Programme (available all year round)

Water and Rivers (P3 - P7)

Explore the Water of Leith, learn about the diversity of its wildlife and its rich human history, see the water cycle in action and consider ways to conserve this valuable resource. Activities: interactive exhibition, activity walk, river dipping, surveys and art workshop.

Woodland Places: Seasonal Changes (P1 - P7)

Explore the rich diversity of woodland habitats, investigate life cycles and food chains, consider the adaptations of woodland plants and animals and understand the importance of plants to life on earth. Activities: interactive exhibition, sensory and discovery walk, surveys and art workshop.

Bugs and Beasties (P1 - P7)

Explore the world of invertebrates, investigate their habitats, learn about food chains and life cycles and find out about their important role in nature. Activities: interactive exhibition, sensory and discovery walk, surveys and art workshop.

Active Citizens - Sustainable Rivers (P3 - P7)

Join our river charity for a hands-on day to find out how we look after the river: explore the biodiversity of the ancient woodlands and investigate the impact of human activity upon the river and woodland habitats. Activities: interactive exhibition, conservation activity, environmental investigation of the Water of Leith, river dipping (optional), ‘Active Citizens’ classroom activity.

Biodiversity Matters (P3 - P7)

Investigate the importance of the interdependency of all living things, with an emphasis upon the wide variety of plants and animals in our local environment. Activities: interactive exhibition, environmental walk to river and woodland habitats, shadow puppet art workshop.

People and Place: Past and Present

Canals and Transport: Past and Present (P2 - P7)

Explore Edinburgh’s Union Canal: become an urban archaeologist to look for traces of its past and find out about the people who built it and why, and investigate the canal’s wildlife and current uses. Activities: slide talk, canal activity walk, and boat building workshop.

Jacobites in Edinburgh (P4 - P7)

Take a step back in time to re-live and explore the issues and consequences of the 1745 occupation of Edinburgh by the Jacobite army. Activities: classroom activity and slide talk, Jacobites at Grays Mill drama activity trail and encampment, art workshop.

Water, Sustainability and Our Milling Heritage (P4 - P7)

Explore Edinburgh’s milling legacy on the Water of Leith whilst looking at the river’s future use for sustainable energy production. Activities: interactive exhibition, river walk, renewable energy art workshop.

All our workshops are 9:30am - 2:15pm for P3 - P7 and 9:30am - 12:30pm for P1 and P2 (with the option of staying on in the classroom to eat lunch after the workshop).

Cost: £5.00 per pupil.

Winter Outreach Programme (November - April only)

Your Local Environment (for schools within walking distance of the canal or river) (P3 - P7)

What did the environment around your school look like 12,000 years ago? Or 120 years ago? What are some of the animals and plants that grow and live along the waterside? Who were some interesting or famous people who used to live right next door? In this bespoke programme, our Education Officer spends the day with your class to help you find out more about your Local Environment. Activities: interactive timeline and guided walk along the river/canal and art workshop (for the full-day option).

Cost: Full-day £75, Half-day £50

Plants and Wildlife. Food Chains. The Water Cycle (P1-P7)

Choose one from these three topics for a hands-on, interactive, one-hour workshop bringing the plants and animals of the Water of Leith right into your classroom. Activities: PowerPoint presentation, interactive classroom activities and games.

Cost: £25

Secondary School Field Studies at the Water of Leith Visitor Centre - All Year

Rivers and Water, Broad General Education (S1 - S3)

This interdisciplinary programme explores the river in the ancient woodlands of The Dells. Pupils identify river features and conduct experiments to measure river velocity and map the river bed. They investigate the health of the river through freshwater invertebrate sampling and learn about the rich history of the river as well as conservation issues the river is facing today.

Rivers and Valley Field Studies for Physical Environments - Senior Stage

Pupils work in small groups to measure and to record the channel width, depth, wetted perimeter, velocity, bedload and gradient at three different locations on the river. All equipment and worksheets for data collection are provided. The study also explores the influence of the river upon the formation of the landscape, the human history of this urban waterway, as well as current land use and conservation issues facing the river. This study can either be completed at three locations in the Craiglockhart Dell or, for schools with transport, in the upper stages in the Pentlands, at the middle stages in the Dells and in the lower middle stage in Stockbridge.

Both programmes can be conducted as a full-day study from 9:30am - 2:15pm or condensed as a half-day programme at the convenience of the school.

Cost: £5.00 per pupil.

Biology Field Studies - Senior Stage

Pupils work in small groups to develop terrestrial and freshwater sampling skills in the Craiglockhart Dells and Water of Leith river.

Time: 9:30am - 1:45pm
Cost: £5.00 per pupil

Environmental Studies - Senior Stage (Click on me to download programme)

Pupils learn about environmental issues on the Water of Leith and Union Canal as well as the work done by the Trust to address these issues on the river. Pupils then go on a guided walk along the river and can work in small groups to develop terrestrial and freshwater sampling skills in the Craiglockhart Dells and Water of Leith river.

Time: 9:30am - 12:45pm
Cost: £5.00 per pupil

JASS at the Water of Leith (All Year) (P5 - S2)

Come to the ancient woodlands of the Craiglockhart Dells to earn the Adventure section of the JASS award. This three-hour outdoor programme explores the woods and develops survival skills through orienteering, shelter building and even fire-making. Learn about the plants and animals in the woods and contribute to the health of the river by participating in a conservation challenge.

Time: 9:30am - 12:30pm (Schools are welcome to eat lunch in the classroom after the programme.)
Cost: £5.00 per pupil


We offer an one-and-a-half hour interactive visit to the Centre and riverside, to experience the nature and wildlife of this special place. Topics are seasonally adapted and nurseries can choose from Weather and Water, Woodlands, Plants and Animals on the Water of Leith, and Looking after Our World (litter and recycling).

Nurseries can use the classroom for a snack break during the visit.

Cost: £2 per pupil.

Please see to download our Brochure and Programme guides.

Contact us

For more information or to book a programme please call our teacher Ruth Prince or Sandie our administrator on 0131 455 7367 or email

Lothian buses 44 & 34 stop outside the Visitor Centre and Slateford Station is just minutes away.

All Programmes can be tailor made to suit your class activities.

For more details, or to book a Programme, please contact us here, or at:
4 - 12, 13 - 16
Days and Times
Water Of Leith Visitor Centre, 24 Lanark Road
EH14 1TQ

North East  North West  South East  South West 
Contact Details
Contact Person: Ruth Prince
Contact Telephone: 0131 455 7367
Contact Email:

This record was last modified on: 07 February 2020