Parks and Green Spaces
In South-West Edinburgh we are very lucky to have dozens of places to enjoy for our leisure. As a result of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Edinburgh Outdoors initiative there is a focus on improving and adding to these facilities where possible. In this article (and others to follow) we will take a wee look at a number of sites which sit away from the bigger green places we all know well:
The park sits in Woodhall Road at the end of the No 10 bus route and is named after the local farmer who gifted the land to the local community in 1936 for recreational use. It is a great example of a sports park of that era – football and cricket pitches with the lushest of turf sit beside the ubiquitous pavilion in an arena ringed by mature trees of all hues. Not the quietest of spots given its proximity of the by-pass but with great views to the Pentlands above and the Water of Leith below.
Redford Wood sits off Redford Road and is a pleasant space to wander along the paths beside the Braidburn. Close by are the historic Colinton and Dreghorn trenches dug by the Royal Scots in training before making their way to France in the Great War. The ancient woodland continues on to Covenanters Woods – named after the Covenanters who marched on Edinburgh inn the seventeenth century and set up camps in the nearby Pentland Hills.
This new park runs parallel to the Union Canal towpath at the top of Gibson Terrace. The development contains a good deal of seating under newly planted trees and, for the more energetic user, an urban gym. It is a positive sign of the regeneration of the Fountainbridge District as the previously hidden potential of the Union Canal has suddenly come alive.
Blackford Wetland Patch
The Blackford Wetland Patch sits almost un-noticed between Blackford Pond and the Midmar Allotments. It is a bit unfortunate that its welcome board has disappeared and the area is perhaps a little more run-down than previously but the area is teeming with life. The patch was deliberately stocked with deadwood which is intended to rot down to enrich the soil. In this process it has become an excellent habitat for invertebrates and small mammals which in turn has made it a larder for a great number of birds. The cacophony of birdsong when we visited early one morning as the sun crept over the edge of Blackford Hill was fabulous.
Grannies Green is another inner city garden created on the site of what was formerly a traditional washhouse for the women of the Grassmarket and Johnston Terrace. The green space was commissioned in honour of Sir Patrick Geddes who has been hailed as a leading figure in transforming Edinburgh from grim Victorian times into a thriving modern city. Geddes planned a network of inner city gardens which can be visited as part of a mile long trail. Prominently positioned on the green are cast-iron clothes poles used to hang the washing.