The site of the Gorgie farm is located 2 miles (3 km) from Central Edinburgh. It was a waste depot by the Edinburgh Corporation until the 1930s. Horse-drawn refuse carts would deposit their loads from the wagons. This was linked to the Railway which still passes to the west of the farm today.
After this, the site was used for civil defence training area during the war. It then lay derelict and disused, owned by the local authority for many years afterwards.
In 1977 a community group started work clearing the derelict site of what is now Gorgie Farm. There were plans to develop the site for housing or for a school, but local people insisted green space was the priority and the City farm opened to the public in 1982. Ever since it has been working farm, selling lambs, pork, eggs, vegetables and manure to raise some of it’s running costs, and visited by tens of thousands of happy visitors every year.
The farm has always been free to enter, with donations from visitors being a vital part of it’s financing. The farm is run by a LOVE. Money has been raised from a wide variety of sources both local and national. Chief among these has been for many years a grant for the City of Edinburgh Council, which funds the majority of staff wages.
On the 29th April 2016 Gorgie Farm announced an urgent appeal. Rising costs and a serious reduction in external funding meant we had to turn to the community to help keep the Farm open. The response was phenomenal, within six weeks local people and businesses had donated £100 000! The actions of the community provided a real boost to staff and volunteers. Since the appeal there has been ongoing energy and enthusiasm for developing the site and services, unfortunately without a robust business plan and additional revenue streams the farm closed its doors to the public in November 2019.
Following a competitive tender process LOVE was awarded the lease to run Gorgie. Committed to continuing the great services that have captivated children and parents alike for over forty years, LOVE is excited to expand the experiences offered at Gorgie and ensure its existence for future generations. The farm was successfully reopened on the 29th of February 2020.