Statement from City of Edinburgh Council:
After the torrential rain in mid-August, there was a substantial landslip in Meadowspot Woods. The path was closed immediately and barriers and signage have been put in place to prevent access. In mid-September, following the observation of suspect debris located towards the top of the slope in the woodland area, a contractor appointed by CEC to look at the landslide undertook soil sampling. The test results confirmed the presence of low quantities of asbestos in five of the seven locations tested. Signage on the barriers was amended with this new information and now says: “Meadowspot woodland is closed due to a major landslip which uncovered historic asbestos contamination in the soil.”
Sediments from the landslide reached some of the properties in the Meadowspot residential area at the time of the incident and an initial cleaning operation was carried out as soon as possible. A silt fence has been installed to provide some protection for the closest houses to the slope to mitigate any further debris slip. A contractor will be appointed to undertake additional remedial work to the private gardens. It is hoped that this part of the work can be completed before the Christmas holidays.
Following this, further analysis including reassurance air and dust testing was undertaken, and reports have been completed for each properties and shared with homeowners. A full report on any possible health risks is being prepared by a specialist consultant.
An asbestos ‘sweep’ has been completed in order to remove any visible pieces of possible asbestos containing material from the woodland, and works to stabilise the slope are ongoing. Specialist contractors have visited the site and quotes have been received to clear the woodland of any potentially contaminated soil and re-test the location so that it can be re-opened to public access.
Following consultation with the Qmile group Ecologist and NatureScot, a licence for the temporary closure of the badger sett located in the vicinity of the landslide has been approved. One way badger gates had been installed for a period of 3 weeks (and were monitored) and the sett can now be closed. Short-term remedial action to the scarp will be undertaken week starting 16/11/20. A topography survey has been completed to assist with the modelling of the long-term remedial work that will be required to stabilise the slope.
We know that the closure is inconvenient for many and that alternative routes are longer, less accessible and often along busy main roads. It is important though that members of the public heed the warning notices and do not ignore or circumvent the barriers.