toggle menu

Edinburgh World Heritage/Learning/Classroom Resources/Can you help save Edinburgh’s buildings?

Spying maintenance problems in the city

This story trail has been designed to make children more aware of traditional buildings in the city, get them involved in identifying simple signs of decay and neglect, and encourage a conversation about the importance of maintaining our buildings.

Written by children’s author Vivian French together with Edinburgh World Heritage, this resource was supported by a grant from the Scottish Book Trust, and published as part of #BookWeekScotland2020.

Download the trail

Can you help save Edinburgh’s buildings?

Designed as an outdoor activity, the resource takes the form of a ‘story trail’ and is aimed at children in primaries 3 – 4 and their families, who are invited to help Moe the Magpie spy evidence of neglect on poorly maintained traditional buildings in Edinburgh.

Participants can submit their findings to Edinburgh World Heritage via email ( or post and receive a special spyster badge from Moe as a reward.

Thank you to Vivian French, Annamaria Nizi, Scottish Book Trust and the children and staff of Lorne Primary School for their support in creating this resource.

Exploring sustainable heritage in Edinburgh

This suite of activities and resources has been developed as part of the AtlaS.WH project, building on Edinburgh World Heritage’s existing learning resources to create a comprehensive, wide-ranging educational offering.

Learn more

Old Edinburgh in the time of Mary, Queen of Scots

During the period covered by this material, Edinburgh witnessed the turbulent and often violent events associated with the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. This new Primary material, targeting children from P5 – P7, contains a range of media resources for children.

Learn more

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest updates on our work in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage site, plus news, events and exclusive offers.