The Design Team
Welcome to Silverburn Park
Preparatory work underway at the campsite
Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT) have been working with Fife Council and developing plans to regenerate this once bustling public park since 2013.
Silverburn Park was gifted to the town council in the 1970s from the Russell Family and for many years ran as an animal farm, a craft centre and hosted campers and a range of events. The activities and buildings closed during the 1990s, however the park has remained dear in the hearts of the local community and our aim is to regenerate the park for a sustainable future.
We have a Vision for the Park which can be found in the Business Plan:
"To develop Silverburn as a place of quiet enjoyment, supporting the health and wellbeing of the community, and respecting the habitat and biodiversity of the environment."
So far, we've managed to establish a range of community uses at Silverburn - from volunteering programmes to school visits and environmental education. We have a "Friends of Silverburn" group - which you are welcome to join - interested people from the local area and beyond helping us to shape the vision for the future. We have the "Silverburn Squad" undertaking training, qualifications and gaining work experience in the Park as they ultimately seek to secure paid employment. We have also opened the "Cottage Window Café" for the summer season in 2018.
We have 27 community allotments in place - all allocated and a waiting list in operation and we are on
track for a campsite, complete with eco-lodges and spaces for campervans during 2018 or 2019.
We have a specialist multi-disciplinary design team led by
a conservation architect and managed on our behalf by Fife
Historic Buildings Trust to oversee the refurbishment of the disused, and near derelict, former flax mill. Our plan for the mill is to create a hostel space, cafeteria/restaurant, meeting and office space - a venue that will attract local people and visitors alike. We are also keen to promote the heritage of the site - industrial heritage but also the family history and social history attached to Silverburn.
Further details of each aspect of our work are included within this website, and follow our facebook page for further updates.
The Future of Silverburn Park : What it could be like in 2022 and beyond:
But what does our vision statement really mean? Cast your mind forward to the end of 2022 (please note the vision below is not a current reality, this is our aspiration for 2022 onwards)
The campsite and Eco Pods have been open for over 4 years, attracting walkers off the Coastal Path, glampers, and campervans.
The allotments are now mature, allowing locals to grow their own flowers and vegetables, and are run by their own Management Committee.
The Visitor Centre in the Flax Mill has been open since Easter, and is already proving popular with dog walkers
and other visitors. The café is rapidly becoming a popular place to stop for coffee and home baked cakes, and
the restaurant is promoting healthy eating through a healthy menu using produce grown on site. The interactive
heritage displays telling the story of the Flax Mill and flax processing from 1854 to 1934, and how the mill
fitted into the wider flax industry across Fife, are proving popular with visitors and school groups alike. The
Centre has also become a hub for community activity, with Arts and Crafts classes and exhibitions, healthy
cooking courses in the restaurant kitchens, and mindfulness and other wellbeing courses. The hostel is also
attracting increasing numbers of visitors to stay in the Leven area.
The grounds are looking neat and well maintained. The park is full of colour, with snowdrops, bluebells, other wild flowers and rhododendrons flowering at various times. The heritage trees are all accessible and clearly marked with interpretation boards.
The walled garden provides a haven of peace and relaxation for those who want to sit and contemplate the joys of nature, and the sensory garden provides a safe and stimulating environment for those with additional needs.
The paths are now all weather and are fully accessible for wheelchair users, with woodland walks clearly marked around the park.
There is a fenced playpark and an adventure playground with zip slide, providing entertainment for children of all ages, and a picnic area with BBQs for family outings.
The pond is healthy and teeming with wildlife, with a dipping platform for children to investigate and learn
about the occupants of the pond. Wildlife in the park is flourishing under an active wildlife group, with bird
boxes, bat boxes and beehives in the park, and guided wildlife walks.
The park is a recognised Welcome Port on the Fife Coastal Path, with a well-established access point to the
Fife Coastal Path from the refurbished car park via a widened all weather accessible path to the beach.
Specialist beach wheelchairs are available from the Visitor Centre.
There is a full programme of events from Easter through to Christmas as part of a wider Levenmouth programme, with family fun events, music festival, and animal based events, all of which help to raise funds for the park.
The park is popular with schools, which use the facilities to deliver outdoor elements of the curriculum, to promote fitness, and to work towards outdoors awards. The permanent orienteering course is well used, as is the refurbished outdoor classroom in the garden, which is popular for both educational activities and birthday parties.
Fitness is not neglected with outdoor gym equipment and a trim track.
Visitors are downloading and using the free Silverburn app, which tells them about the
history of the site, gives a running commentary for guided walks, and allows them to scan QR codes at key points.
The workforce is made up of 3 groups – a core staff of 6 to 8 full time staff plus additional part-time seasonal staff, the FEAT client group undergoing employability training, and volunteers from the Friends of Silverburn.
Silverburn Park is now a destination, with visitor numbers going up year on year. We are attracting the local community – dog walkers, families, runners, mountain bikers, and those who just want a gentle stroll. We are attracting walkers off the Fife Coastal Path to stay in the area, linger, and spend money in the local economy. We are also attracting visitors from outside Fife in increasing numbers, who are coming to stay in the park – on the campsite, in the Eco Pods, in their campervans, and in the hostel.
Visitors are bringing money into the local economy, supporting jobs for local people, and supporting
training for others to get into work. The park is self-sustaining economically and working towards
becoming self-sufficient in meeting its energy needs.
And maybe we are now starting on the next major project, to renovate Silverburn House?
In summary, Silverburn has become a park that belongs to the community, a park that works for the community, and a park that we can all be proud of.
For Silverburn to be sustainable for future generations, we must combine commercial and community activities, whilst constantly listening to local people to ensure we preserve their special place. Watch our 3-minute video below to learn more: