The landscape has changed in our local area this year, more than most, as we losta large number of well-established trees to the wild winter winds. There is not a lot that can be done to repel 100 mile per hour winds but their loss brings into focus the benefit of planning to protect this aspect of our environment.
Trees and woodlands play a big part in Edinburgh’s landscape and environment. Ancient woodlands are particularly important both in terms of local history and also the biodiversity present inside and around them.
Several local organisations, such as the Friends of the Hermitage of Braid and the Friends of the Pentlands are active in the promotion of plans to protect, manage and extend existing woodlands. The City of Edinburgh Council in collaboration with the Tree Council promotes the voluntary Tree Warden Network to encourage practical projects relatingto trees in the community.
As part of this work the City of Edinburgh Council has compiled an inventory of some 52 heritage trees across the city. There are a number of these in our area:
•The Hermitage of Braid – designated as an ancient woodland as it contains trees of more than 300 years old – some of them having exceeded 40 meters in height are possibly the tallest in Edinburgh.
•The Dreghorn Veterans and Redford Woods where there are a number of Giant Redwoods.
•The Colinton Yew in the grounds of Colinton Manse where RL Stevenson played on a swing on its boughs and took inspiration for his ‘Children’s Garden of Verse’.
Finally, and perhaps to highlight the need for careful planning and protection, we might visit the well maintained National Trust for Scotland property at Malleny Gardens to view the 400 year old clipped Yews known as the Four Disciples. As you
might expect there were Twelve – the others having fallen foul of the action of previous owners of the property.
For more information see www.treewarden.org.uk\edinburgh