The Edinburgh Spyster Story Trail

An outdoor learning resource designed for children to use with their families.

Spying maintenance problems in the city

Download the Spyster Story Trail via the Edinburgh World Heritage Learning Pages.

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 Book Week Scotland.

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 by post and receive a special spyster badge from Moe as a reward.

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

Edinburgh World Heritage | 5 Bakehouse Close | 146 Canongate | Edinburgh | EH8 8DD Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC037183 | Company Registered in Scotland No. Registered in Scotland No.195077 | t: +44 (0)131 220 720 | e:| w:

The Heritage Resources Portal is an Archaeology Scotland initiative.

Funded by Historic Environment Scotland towards realising Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy.

Post Author: r.boyde