A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched in aid of cycle, animal and conservation charities in memory of a cyclist from Musselburgh who tragically lost her life while out for a bike ride.

Heather Stronach, 36, died in a collision involving a lorry on Portobello High Street at its junction with Sir Harry Lauder Road on November 2.

Her funeral took place on December 4 at Saltwell Crematorium, Gateshead.

In lieu of funeral flowers, an online crowdfunding page was set up to raise money for a memorial bench to be installed somewhere Heather loved along the Firth of Forth with views out across the estuary, and also for a tree to be planted in tribute to her.

Friends David Hosgood and Jodie Southgate have also set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for Sustrans, a charity that supports and champions cycling and campaigns for safer cycling infrastructure, and the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, as Heather and her husband Martyn were on the verge of adopting a cat.

Jodie said they wanted to continue raising funds for the charities which they believed Heather would have wanted to support.

Any excess donations after purchasing the bench are also going to be split between Sustrans and the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.

The appeals are gathering pace, with supporters rallying round to donate funds. A total of £1,817 has already been raised for Sustrans and the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. A total of £2,722 has been raised for a memorial bench and tree.

Martyn said: “I’d like to thank everyone for their messages of support and to those who left flowers at the scene – this really meant a lot to her family and friends.”

The couple lived for eight years in New Zealand, where Martyn comes from, before moving to the UK.

They initially lived in England before moving to Edinburgh in January 2017. They moved to Musselburgh about 18 months ago.

Martyn is also raising funds for conservation-related charities in New Zealand in his wife’s memory, saying she loved the country’s birdlife and scenery.

Set to benefit are: Kiwis for kiwi, which works to enable kiwis to flourish in their natural habitat; Pukaha National Wildlife Centre, an unfenced sanctuary for native wildlife located two hours north of Wellington; and Forest & Bird, which was founded to save and protect New Zealand’s natural environment.

To make a donation to Sustrans or the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, go to justgiving.com/team/heather-stronach

To contribute to the memorial bench, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/heather-stronach

More information on the New Zealand conservation appeal is available at givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/in-loving-memory-of-heather-stronach-nee-robin

Police have re-appealed for witnesses to come forward following the fatal crash.

Sergeant Mark Banner, from Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit, said: “We would like to hear from anyone who was in the area and saw the collision take place to come forward if they have not already done so.

“I am particularly keen to speak to two car drivers who may be able to assist. The first was in a car stationary at the junction of Sir Harry Lauder Road and the other was in a small black car on Portobello High Street. They may have information that could prove very helpful to our enquiry.

“Also, we’d still appeal to any pedestrians who were there or to anyone who has dashcam or CCTV footage from the street around 2.45pm to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 1829 of November 2.