The closing months of 2014 saw much activity across the Local Nature Reserve.
The causeway in front of the pond has been weeded and repointed. Broken or uneven setts have been repaired. There are new railings across the stream. Paths have been scraped and refinished at the Glenlockhart Road, Lockharton Crescent and Craiglockhart Terrace entrances. The much criticised slab path across the curling rink area has been replaced by a whin path with filter drainage. The new path is smoother, straighter and wider. We hope there will be no more problems with puddles and muddy patches.
October saw a succession of work squads. Lothian Conservation Volunteers raked and planted in the upper meadows. A team from Lloyds Bank and Scottish Widows planted a mini-orchard and spring bulbs at the Craiglockhart Terrace entrance. The Dirty Weekenders (conservation volunteers from Edinburgh University) dug out the steam and put up 8 new bird boxes. We are grateful to Community Service Volunteers whose Action Earth Programme provided the funding for the fruit trees, the bulbs and the new bird boxes.
Many more improvements are scheduled for 2015. Part of the grassy strip in the curling rink area will be rotovated and weeded in preparation for planting a wildflower meadow. Additional seating is planned in several locations. The community consultation at the beginning of the year showed there was a need for better local play facilities so we are seeking funding for some simple unobtrusive play structures that would create a play trail for 2 to 5 year olds in the lower woods. Lastly, we hope to organise a petanque demonstration and competition in the spring of next year. We recommend you prepare by ordering a set of petanque balls as a novel Christmas present!
We are also preparing for substantial areas of land to be transferred into the Local Nature Reserve as a result of the development of the Craighouse site. There will be many challenges involved in this. As always, we will do our best to protect the local environment and community interests.