The grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital are an important asset and resource for the patients, staff and the local community. The site has existed as a psychiatric hospital since 1813 and is an interesting collection of different aged buildings and interwoven greenspaces. The hospital is a fantastic NHS Lothian site with an interesting history, a variety of greenspace cater to different users and a very active third sector partnership supports makes active use of the outdoors. Of particular note is its fantastic glasshouses where therapeutic art and gardening activities take place and the Community Garden where Cyrenians run a variety of activities
As the site has been developed over the last 200 years, tree planting has been used to give the site a framework, boundaries and amenity. This means tree avenues are still evident today, as mature trees forming strong north-south avenues within the overall hospital site. There are also a number of parkland areas, notably to the south where a large grassy open area is interspersed with large mature specimen trees of a variety of evergreen and deciduous species including Cedars, Acers and Willows.
To the west, there is an ancient orchard. This is a delightful feature and of real value within the site. It is one of the last remaining urban orchards in Scotland and is of historic and cultural significance. The gnarly old trees have been recently pruned and the whole orchard brought into positive management by formative pruning,
inter-planting with new fruiting trees (approx. 25no. trees planted), and a footpath loop has been constructed to bring this feature into the greenspace amenity of the site.