View of Braidburn Valley Park - November

Braidburn Valley Park

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Latest News

Below you will find the latest news items. You can click on the title of any item to open it up and comment if you wish.

Aug 23
2017

Tea in the Park 2017 – Saturday 2nd September

Tea in the Park 2017 Braidburn Valley Park EdinburghA date for your diaries – (You’ll be having your) Tea in the Park will take place as usual on the first Saturday in September – this year Saturday 2nd from 2 to 4.30.

This year’s attractions include the Edinburgh Bootcamp which comes with Obstacle Course and children’s games. The Vikings of Din Eidyn will be out in strength this year with a full battle force as well as other Viking pursuits. Pulse of the Place, Magic Ian, Auld Spice Ceilidh Band and Angela Watson – School of Dance will entertain. Plus all the usual fun Crafts and activities, raft building and racing. Not to forget the Famous and Original Duck Race.

See you there!

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Mar 30
2017

Spring Clean Up Sunday 23rd April 2-4 pm

Our annual Spring Clean Up is scheduled for 23rd April from 2 to 4 pm.  All are welcome to join us to clear away the litter which has accumulated over the winter and prepare our local patch for the summer.  Waders, litter pickers and gloves will be provided.   The event is supported by Greggs the Bakers who will provide goodies for us to have with our refreshments.  Hope to see you there.   

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Feb 16
2017

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends will take place on Sunday 26th February.  We will meet up at the Main Gates in Greenbank Crescent at 2pm for a walk round the park and talk about achievements and plans for this year and hear suggestions from the Friends.  We will then return to Greenbank  Church before 3 for some refreshments and a short business meeting.  All welcome.  New Friends can join on the day.   

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Aug 15
2016

The Tea in the Park Dog Show September 3rd 2.30 pm to 4.15 pm

Advance Registration Necessary

After the runaway success of our dog show last year at Tea in the Park, we are daring to hold another this year.

Enter the usual classes Best decorated lead; Dog that looks most like its Owner; Prettiest Bitch, Most handsome owner; Cutest Puppy; Best Trick; Waggiest Tail; Egg and Spoon Race.

This year we are requiring advance registration – so get your application in now.  Dog Show Application

or email info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk

Either post or pop in to Tea in the Park Dog Show 29 Craiglea Drive Edinburgh EH10 5PB or email to info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk   Once you have registered, you can pay on the day.

 

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Aug 15
2016

Tea in the Park Saturday 3rd September

IMG_20160815_0001A date for your diaries – (You’ll have had your) Tea in the Park will take place as usual on the first Saturday in September – this year Saturday the 3rd from 2 to 4.30.

This year’s attractions include the Edinburgh Bootcamp which comes with Obstacle Course and children’s games.  The Vikings of Din Eidyn will be out in strength this year with a full battle force as well as other viking pursuits.  Morningside School of Music, Magic Ian  and Angela Watson – School of Dance will entertain.  Plus all the ususal fun Crafts and activities, raft building and racing.  Not to forget the Famous and Original Duck Race.

We will also have the Infamous dog show – register in advance to secure a place – see separate post.

See you there!

 

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Apr 16
2016

Friends Lecture – Bats – the myths and the facts Monday 18th April 7.30

First Friends’ Lecture will be held on 

Monday April 18th 7.30 pm

in Greenbank Church

 Bats: myth and reality

 Come along to hear the real story of bats and learn about their ecology from

Jackie Watson – bat ecologist

 ALL WELCOME

 Free for members of the Friends of Braidburn Valley Park

 Or £5 each

(NB cheaper to join the Friends at the door for £3

or £5 for a household )

The lecture will be followed up with a bat walk in the park later in the seasonInaugural Members’ Lecture

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Apr 4
2016

April Events

We have a number of events coming up in April.

As we are now into the Spring season with (hopefully) longer and warmer days, The Friends are running some April events.
On 18th April is the first Friends’ lecture.  We have felt for a while that we do not thank the Friends enough for their support so have organised a free lecture.  Jackie Watson – a bat ecologist- will talk to us about Bats – the Myth and the Reality. Please try to support this event.  See poster here which you can download to publicise the event.  .Inaugural Members’ Lecture  We would also want to use the lecture as a way of attracting more Friends so please encourage your friends to attend. It is perhaps worth noting that it will cost less to join the Friends than to pay for the lecture
Jackie Watson will also lead a bat walk later in the season so first you will get the theory and then have a chance to meet the bats themselves using bat locators.

On 24th April is our annual Spring Clean.  This year we will be Cleaning for the Queen so that HM celebrates her 90th birthday in a cleaner land.  We have purple bin bags for the Queen and ordinary black bags for the Republicans among us.  Waders, gloves and litter pickers will be provided.  Tiaras and crowns are optional!!  Again see the poster here to download to help us to publicise. Spring Clean for the Queen poster

Also we are going to be at the Spring Fling in the Eric Liddell Centre from 11 to 4 on Saturday 9th April to spread the word about the Friends – we would hope to see you there as it is an interesting event which involves many organisations which are local to Morningside (and a few more) We will be sharing a table with the Friends of the Hermitage.   Spring Fling

 

 

 

 

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Mar 15
2016

Annual General Meeting

We had our best attended Annual General Meeting in a long time.  Thanks to everyone who came along and sent apologies.  Hope that all will find the minutes interesting and informative.

AGM minutes 2016

 

 

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Feb 26
2016

Cherry Tree Update

You may have noticed that work is beginning on the cherry trees in the Park.  We have received the following update from the Council’s forestry section which we want to share with you and your friends.

We wanted to let you know about the plan for the recommended tree works for the cherry avenue running parallel to the burn. Trees marked with an X have been scheduled for removal whereas those marked with a dot are to be crown reduced and retained. A completion deadline of the end of February had  been put upon these works but this has slipped due to the many demands the Forestry Service has on its service following the recent period of high winds. The works will inevitably change the structure of this area of the park but are necessary due to the very poor condition of certain trees and the defects that they present.  Recent failures in periods of high winds illustrate the health and safety risk that some of the trees now presen.  As you are aware, the combination of severe basal decay and high wind loading has caused the loss of a number of these cherries over the last few years.
On the plus side external funding has been provided to replace 25 cherries during this winter and specific planting
locations will be identified over the next month.

The Friends are also working with Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust to seek funding for complete replacement of the cherry trees, so far with limited success, but we are hoping that they will prepare a grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund this year.

We also thought you may be interested to see this photograph of the Valley when there were hardly any trees.

Braidburn Valley 1936

 

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Feb 15
2016

Notice of Annual General Meeting and request to support the Friends.

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Braidburn Valley Park will take place on Sunday 28th February. We will meet at 2pm @ main gate in Greenbank Crescent for a walk through the Park to look at developments since last year and share ideas about future developments.   We will then meet at 3pm in Greenbank Church for refreshments and a short business meeting and consider the Annual Report and Accounts

If you are not yet a member, you can come along and join on the day – you would be very welcome.

The Friends of the Park are seeking support with a few tasks and – to be frank- we need some new blood to keep us fresh and energetic.  Our Treasurer is leaving us so we require someone who is able to manage our income and expenditure and look after our fairly simple accounts.  Our income and outgoings are fairly modest at around £6,000 (unless we manage to attract external funding).  Apart from the usual preparation of cheques and accounts. the main activity is ensuring that all the floats are prepared and takings are accounted for at Tea in the Park.

Although this post is a Committee post, we have no more than 5 Committee meetings a year.  Committee meetings are fairly short and are well chaired and we find it fun and rewarding to be part of looking after our local patch.

We also need a newsletter editor and website editor.  There are only two editions of Valley Voice a year and we make a few posts to the Website each year.  (about every couple of months).  Full support will be provided.

Please contact us if any of these roles are of interest to you at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk for more information, ideally in the next few weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting on 28th April.

 

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Feb 15
2016

Council consultation questionnaire

The Council is revising the Management Plan for the Park and is seeking to consult Friends and all other users of the Park to find out our views.  Please see the questionnaire here Braidburn Valley Park Survey v5 and submit it either to the Friends c/o the Membership Secretary or by email to the Council.  This opportunity arises only every few years so the Friends would encourage Park users to respond.

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Nov 11
2015

Planting the David Wright Community Orchard

Group view 3

This was such a special and memorable day.  40 -50 people of all ages gathered to plant the first 10 trees in our new Community Orchard.  Even the weather was on our side – hard to believe it was the first of November. The date was  80 years (less one day) from the planting of the Cherry Tree Trefoil in the Park on the occasion of the Jubilee of George V.  Only the lengthening shadows hinted at the month.

Guides Karen and Hugh

We were privileged to have with us two of the guides from 80 years ago.  Both Isabel Rankine and Ann Morham remember the day well.  To keep the tradition of Guides’ service to the Community alive, they once more wielded their spades.  Several more of the original members of the planting party of guides, brownies and rangers from all over Edinburgh sent us messages of good luck for the day.

FullSizeRender-3

On the subject of service, David Wright of Wright’s of Comiston was very much in our thoughts during the afternoon and we were so pleased that David’s widow, Louise, and daughter, Jennifer, were also able to be with us.  In her tribute to David at the outset of the day,  Chair of the Friends, Karen Young, expressed many of our thoughts when she said that service to his community was something that David epitomised.  With his shirt, tie and greengrocers coat, he always had time for everyone; remembered everyone’s names and faces; and would go out of his way to help meet our needs.  By naming the orchard after him, we hope to continue his aim of delivering delicious fruit to the community.  In the photograph Louise is joining in by replacing the soil on the plum tree planted by the Constable family.

Birnam Wood

After the words of appreciation came the planting; first the trees advanced on us from their soaking in the burn. and we all set to dig holes in the resistant soil.  It was great to see everyone working hard in the warm sunshine   There were so many helpers who came out that it was hard to find jobs for everyone.

The children joined in with the planting and writing copper labels to tie on the trees.  The apple varieties we planted are Howgate Wonder, White Melrose. (both cookers) and  Ellison’s Orange, Fortune, Limelight, Lord Roseberry, Lord Langbourne and St Edmunds Russet.  The 2 plum varieties are Opal and Rivers Early Prolific.

Most of the children were almost too busy to take up the apple based games that were on offer.  As the sun moved across the sky and the temperature lowered, we were all grateful for the warm refreshments and apple pies.  Toffee apples rounded things off for the children.

Three generations

It was great to see the generations working together. It is quite a thought that perhaps some of the children will come along in another 80 years to remember ‘their’ tree.

Thanks to all who came along on the day and also sent their good wishes

And what would David Wright have thought of it all?   Louise said:  He would have been amazed and not have believed any of it. 

Do come back and see how the trees are doing, and, when they produce fruit, please pick the fruit and think of David Wright of Comiston.

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Oct 30
2015

Update on Community Orchard Planting Sunday November 1st 2-4

To commemorate the life of our local greengrocer and friend to many of us, David Wright, who died suddenly this month, we have decided to name the new orchard after him.  Please join us on Sunday 1st November to help plant the apple and plum trees in the David Wright Community Orchard.  We think that an orchard is a fitting memorial for a man who worked so hard to bring good fruit and vegetables to our tables.  We will also be very honoured to have with us one of the guides who planted the Cherry Tree Trefoil in the Park 80 Years ago.

Please join us for planting and apple themed games for the kids.

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Oct 23
2015

Help Plant the New Community Orchard on Sunday 1st November 2-4

Please come and plant the first trees in the new community orchard in Braidburn Valley Park.
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the planting of the cherry tree trefoil in the Park – we are planting the first of the fruit trees in the new Community Orchard.  We hope you agree that this is an appropriate use for some of the funds raised at Tea in the Park and our hope is that the trees will bear fruit for all to harvest in the years to come.
Come along from 2-4 on Sunday 1st November and bring the family.

We need volunteers with a range of skills to

  • dig holes and hammer in stakes for the protective cages (a good work out)
  • write the name tags and hang on the trees
  • organise apple themed games with the kids who attend
  • make toffee apples in advance for sale for funds
  • serve refreshments

We can only do these things with your support – let us know what you can do to help.  info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk

Look forward to seeing you there.

Apple Trees | Huge range of Apple Tree varieties | Buy Apple Trees

 

 

 

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Sep 22
2015

Autumn Clean Up – Sunday 4th October and news about Community Orchard

Our Autumn Clean Up is on 4th October this year. We hope you can join us to clean up the burn and the rest of the park for the winter. Waders, gloves, bibs and refreshments will be provided. The more helpers we have, the quicker we get the job done. We look forward to seeing you in the middle of the park from 2-4. This is a popular event with families as everyone can help. Clean Up Notice – Autumn 2015

Sunday November 1st is the nearest Sunday to the 80th anniversary of the planting the cherry tree trefoil by girl guides from all over Edinburgh. To mark the anniversary, while we are working on the cherry tree replacement scheme, we will take the first step in creating a new Community Orchard.  Sunday 1st November is earmarked for tackling the first stage of planting. We will need people with skills to dig reasonable sized holes, hammering in stakes and fitting protective cages. It would be good if those willing and able to volunteer could let us know. More details to follow.

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Sep 12
2015

Tea In the Park – Biggest ever

The warm early September sunshine helped to make this year’s Tea in the Park the biggest ever.

We hope that everyone who came along had a good time.

Tea in the Park General

Except perhaps the Vikings who fought it out to the bitter end.

Vickings 4 MR

Vikings 2 Vikings 5 mr

The Famous Duck Race was as popular as ever.

Duck Race 3

 

Duck Race 1 Duck Race 2

The first dog show attracted lots of new visitors

Congratulations to all who won rosettes but every dog was a winner on the day.  And all were so good humoured and well behaved.

Dog Show 2 Dog Show 3 Dog Show 4

 

Thank you to all the many supporters, donors of biscuits and prizes, sponsors, and most of all to our volunteers who gave of their time and energy to made it such a special day.

Roll on next year – Make a date in your diaries for Saturday 3rd September – same place.

 

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Aug 14
2015

Tea In the Park Poster Now Available

The Tea in the Park Poster is now available to remind you of all the events.

 

Feel free to download and circulate to your contacts.   Tea In The Park Poster

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Aug 12
2015

Dogs Invited to Tea in the Park on 5th September

As part of the Tea in the Park events on 5th September we will be having our first Fun Dog Show.

There will be a medal and 4 rosettes for each of the 10 fun classes and a silver salver for the Best in Show.  There should be a class for every dog and great fun to be had by all.

  • Best decorated lead
  • Dog and owner who most look like each other
  • Prettiest Bitch
  • Most Handsome Dog
  • Cutest Puppy
  • Most appealing expression
  • Best Trick
  • Waggiest Tail
  • Best Biscuit Catcher
  • Egg and Spoon race (holding dog lead in same hand as spoon)

Hopefully the many dogs and their owners and families who walk in the Park will come along.

Registration begins at 2pm and the show commences at 3pm.  You can also register in advance. Dog Show Entrant Application Booklet

The modest entry fee of £2 (for up to 10 classes) will go towards funding the Green Dog Walker initiative which aims to encourage dog walkers in the Valley Park and the Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill to pick up after their dog.

Please come along and spread the word. You can download a poster here. Dog-Show-Poster-1

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Jul 31
2015

Tea in the Park 5th September 2-4.30 pm

This is an early reminder of our annual community event in Braidburn Valley Park.

We hope that we will see you and your family, friends and neighbours there – please spread the word.

Among the attractions this year are

  • The Vikings of Din Eidyn,
  • Auld Spice Ceilidh Band,
  • Fun family dog show
  • Musicians from the Morningside School of Music,
  • Dance display by the Angela Watson School of Dance,
  • World famous duck race

In addition we have all the usual attractions, home baking stall, bar, ice cream, face painting  and many others.

Any surplus we make is invested in our special Park.

We can’t do this without you so can we ask for volunteers to contribute whatever you can.
We need as many volunteers as possible in the following areas

  • Volunteers to help publicise the event – we are sorting out the flyer
  • Volunteers to help with the dog show on Saturday 5th September – may need a meeting the week before
  • Volunteers to help get equipment out of storage in the church crypt on Friday 4th September at 6.30pm in Greenbank Church Hall
  • Volunteers, particularly with cars, to help transport equipment from the church to the park on Saturday 5th September at 9am
  • Volunteers to help set up tents, tables and chairs, etc on the morning of Saturday 5th September
  • Volunteers to help out with activities from 1.45 – 4.30pm on Saturday 5th September
  • Volunteers, particularly with energy when we are all knackered, to help demount the stalls and tents and transport equipment back from the park to Greenbank Church crypt after 4.30 pm on Saturday 5th September
  • Donations of home baking for the stall on Saturday 5th September
  • Donations of recycling material – cardboard, plastic bottles, clean food containers, etc – for raft building

We will post further details later

Please email info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk with offers of help –  we will be so very grateful for whatever you can offer – it is at this stage in the year that the work required can feel daunting – but with help we always get there in the end.

Can we also encourage new Friends and friends of Friends to join in – it is good fun and you will be made particularly welcome.

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Jun 17
2015

Valley Voice Summer 2015

The latest edition of the Valley Voice  contains a lot of interesting information about your local patch

  • Return of the Urn II
  • Herbaceous Bed development
  • Latest in tree planting
  • Community Orchard -Planting date
  • Progress towards long term goal of Cherry Tree Trefoil replacement
  • Medal Routes – walks in and around the park
  • Greenbank Scouts extending the North path
  • Tea in the Park – early preview including advance warning of the fun dog show

Click to read Valley Voice 31

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Jun 16
2015

Annual General Meeting Minutes

The Annual General Meeting took place on Sunday 8th March.  Thanks to all members who attended and to those interested people who came along and joined at the meeting.

AGM Minutes 2015

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Mar 24
2015

Spring clean: April 26th

Our spring clean up is on Sunday 26 April from 2pm to 4pm. Please join us to help clear up the Park and remove rubbish from the Park and the burn. The winter winds have brought in quite a lot of litter especially at the south end.

Just come to the meeting point on the main path (south of the ‘stage’ area) and pick up the equipment you need. Look out for the tall banners. We supply gloves, litter pickers, bags and waders for those who fancy tackling the burn.

As well as cleaning up rubbish there will also be some shrubs to plant and maybe digging out of invasive butterbur

There are free refreshments for all those who join in.

Spring Clean Up 2009 6 (2)

Hopefully see you there

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Feb 20
2015

Living Fossils in Braidburn Valley Park

Dawn Redwood leaves

Dawn Redwood leaves

Have you noticed the new trees that have been planted in the Park in the last few weeks?

 

 

 

 

Dawn Redwood in winter

Dawn Redwood in winter

The City of Edinburgh Council have planted over 30 new trees mostly along the burn side. Two of these are Dawn Redwood  (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) and are located near the middle bridge. These trees are unusual in that they are the only living species in their genus and were only known from fossil records until the 1940s. In 1941 a Mr Chan discovered the trees growing in a village in central China and in 1944 other trees were discovered and seed collected. These seeds were grown at the Arnold arboretum in the USA and the resulting trees planted out. The trees are easily propagated and quick growing so they soon became popular as an ornamental tree and were planted throughout Europe and the USA. Although a conifer they are deciduous and so shed their needles in winter like a larch which creates a striking winter profile.

The other trees that have been planted are hazel bushes, again along the burn side, which will produce lovely catkins (‘lambs tails’) in the spring. They are small native trees which are good for wildlife.

Replacement trees have been provided for some of the new cherry trees that failed in the last couple of years. Most of these died due to vandalism but a few also succumbed to the weather Some of these are the native Gean (Prunus avium), and some are ornamental Japanese cultivars.
The final species planted is Swamp cypress (Taxodium distichum) along the burn side near the stage area. This is another deciduous conifer that grows well by water and is native in the southern USA, particularly the Everglades. They will give good shelter for wildlife but hopefully not alligators!

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Jan 24
2015

Wingnut tree

The Friends group recently planted a new tree  at the south end of the Park between the bridge and the end of Fly walk. This replaces a Sweet Chestnut which died last year probably due to the wet conditions in this area. The new tree is a Caucasian Wingnut (Pterocarya fraxinifolia) which is a spreading tree with a short trunk. It has catkin-like flowers that go on to form tassels of small winged nuts in the autumn. The tree was chosen as it is hardy and likes moist conditions, so should be at home in this damp, windy section of the Park.Wingnut tree planing Jan 2015

 

Thanks to all those who helped take out the old tree and plant the new one. Many hands made light work to plant this large tree complete with stakes and protective cage.

 

The tree was supplied by Damhead Nursery (http://www.damheadnursery.co.uk/)

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Jan 20
2015

AGM 2015

THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Friends of Braidburn Valley Park took place on Sunday 8th March 2015.

AGM Minutes 2015

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Jan 17
2015

Lastest Valley Voice

The winter edition of the Friends Group newsletter has just been published. Take a look at what has been happening in the Park in the last few months

The Valley Voice is available for viewing or downloading on our website. Click here to view all  copies. This edition includes articles on :

  • Last September’s Fun Day
  • All You Wanted to Know about the Medal Routes Project
  • Honorary Tree Warden’s Report
  • An obituary to Jean Blades

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Nov 22
2014

Tree work at the south end of the Park

 

Cherry tree fellingTree works at the south end of the park are set to continue into next week. Earlier in the year the Council Trees and Woodlands officers identified a number of the old cherry trees that were diseased or rotten at the base as well as 5 of the tall Lombardy poplars along the southern boundary of the Park were in poor condition. As a safety measure the trees identified are being felled. The loss of these trees from this area is regrettable but, as they are alongside a path, public safety is paramount. The Friends group will be working with the council on a plan to replace the cherry trees but this is dependent on funding.

 

 

Lombardy poplar

The path along the southern boundary is likely to be closed at times when the felling is taking place. Most of the wood from the trees is being stacked in this area and will be left to rot away as a wildlife habitat.
If you have any queries on this work or suggestions on new planting please get in touch with the Park Tree Warden (treewarden@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk ) or Mike Shields (Mike.Shields@edinburgh.gov.uk ) the Community Parks Officer at the Council or simply leave a comment below

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Sep 29
2014

Autumn work parties

This autumn the Friends of Braidburn Valley Park are planning to carry out some simple tree maintenance work in the Park to ensure the trees that have been planted in the last few years are well cared for. The work is mainly pruning new trees, cutting back encroaching vegetation, felling small dead trees with bow saws and removing a few stakes. We may also have a few small trees and shrubs to plant. Gloves and all necessary tools will be supplied by the Friends Group.

Hazel2

Three sessions are planned in October to tackle the work and the dates are :

Sat 4th Oct 10.00 – 12.00
Sun 12th Oct 14.00 – 16.00
Sat 18th Oct 14.00 – 16.00

 

 

 

Please let us know if you are interested in helping by emailing treewarden@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk with your name and a contact number as well as which sessions you can attend
Thank you

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Sep 16
2014

Autumn clean up Sept 28th

Our autumn clean up is on Sunday 28th September from 2pm to 4pm. Please join us to help clear up the Park and remove rubbish from the Park and the burn

Just come to the area on the main path (south of the ‘stage’) and pick up the equipment you need. Look out for the banners. We supply waders for those who fancy paddling, gloves, litter pickers, bags etc.

There are free refreshments for all those who join in.

Hopefully see you there

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Sep 2
2014

Tea in the Park Fun day 2014 : Sat 6th Sept

This year’s BIG event is almost here!.

Tea in the Park Fun Day

Saturday, 6th  September 2014 from 14:00 – 16:30

 

Magic Ian– Magician and balloon modeller

Old Spice Ceilidh band

Morningside Pipe Band,

as well as face painting, raft building, 2 bouncy castles, beat the goallie, Fire engine, coconut shy, quizzes, bar, cafe and home baking.

As usual the highlight at the end of the day will be the World Famous Duck Race.

Please come and join us, the forecast looks good – bring a picnic and make a day of it!

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Aug 2
2014

What Flavour is Our Urn?

You may be familiar with the saga of the ornamental stone urn on the right hand pillar at the park’s main entrance. After standing there for 80 years, in 2013 it was knocked off and smashed by a contractor’s vehicle. Last summer, a replacement was created and put in place but it is much more yellow then its left hand counterpart. The Friends of Braidburn Valley Park came up with ‘Project Yoghurt’ to speed up the natural colonisation process and even up the colours.

Painting a thin layer of diluted yoghurt on stone acts as a spawning ground for bacteria and fungi – the initial biological colonisers. However, they have a hard time getting started when the stone is sterile. The yoghurt layer gets them going, then green algae come along, then lichen. The Friends were delighted that Waitrose in Morningside were able to help by donating 5 litres of natural, low fat yoghurt (although we would have been happy with any flavour!). At the end of July, we got out the long ladders and painted and squirted the yoghurt on the urn to make sure that it was completely covered.

Painting yoghurt on the stone urn

Historic Scotland advises that it will take at least six months before we see any lichens or algae starting to grow. Initially they will be tiny millimetre diameter pinheads. They will only growa millimetre or so a year even with the help of the yoghurt, with lichens probably appearing on the sunlit (drier) side and green algae on the shaded (damper) side.

The Friends ask our regular park users to keep an eye on the right hand urn and when you are next eating yoghurt, think of its more unusual uses!

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Apr 8
2014

Creating a Buzz in Braidburn Valley Park

Work is underway to enhance the habitat in Braidburn Valley Park to provide suitable haunts for bumblebees. These bees, that we are all familiar with, have very specific requirements for both nesting and feeding. Bumblebees are becoming increasingly scare in Britain as the habitat they require is lost. Areas such as parks and gardens can provide a refuge for them. There are 5 or 6 species of bumblebees that frequent the Park and all these can be seen in the early summer feeding on the existing wildflower meadow at the south east end of the Braidburn Valley Park created over 6 years ago (see Bumblebee Conservation trust for lots of information on bumblebees).

It may be surprising but Bumblebees, like most birds, start breeding very early in the year. The queens emerge from hibernation and begin searching for a nest site in late Feb or early March depending on the weather and species. They mostly nest underground and excavate small burrows in loose soil or take over existing holes made by mice or voles. As well as nesting sites their other main requirement is energy! They need nectar and pollen from early flowers such as Willow and Primroses or else they will starve and be unable to create a nest and lay their eggs. By July it is all over with the new queens hibernating for the winter in August.

For details about the existing wildflower meadow see the Friends of Braidburn Valley website

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To complement the existing wildflower meadow created over 6 years ago the Friends group are now creating 2 new smaller areas of wild flowers on the east side of the Park.

The first is at the base of the embankment below Comiston Road. This area had the turf removed by the Green Team at the end of March and was sown with a wildflower mix. Plug plants of perennial species will be added in the next few months. The old turfs have been used to create 2 small mounds and their loose structure will provide nesting sites for the bees as well as an area for wildflowers such as Vipers bugloss and Thyme.

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The second area is the old rose bed alongside Comiston Road near the old tram shelter. The Council removed the old roses last winter and offered the bed to the Friends group to transform into a nectar heaven for bees. We will be helped by students from Edinburgh University as part of their Edinburgh University Global Environment, Politics and Society MSc programme. Again we will use a mixture of seed and plug plants to create the bee habitat ensuring we have plants to provide that all important early nectar.

The turf is removed to reduce the soil fertility and therefore the vigour of grass which would out compete the flowers we are trying to encourage. To reduce the vigour of the grass further we will sow a plant called Yellow Rattle (so named because the seeds rattle on the plant when ripe in the autumn) which is parasitic on the grass roots. This has been very successful in the original wildflower meadow. If you look at the grass in summer you can see the height of the grass visibly reduced where the Yellow Rattle is growing.

Next time you are in the Park take a walk up to the south east corner to see the new and old wildflower meadows. Hopefully you will spot bumblebees buzzing around but don’t leave it too late as winter starts again in August!

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Apr 6
2014

Spring Clean

Our Spring clean and clear up is on Sunday 27th April from 2pm to 4pm. Please join us to help clear up the Park and remove all the rubbish that has blown in over the winter.

Just come to the area on the main path (south of the ‘stage’) and pick up the equipment you need.We supply waders for those who fancy paddling, gloves, litter pickers, bags etc.

There are free refreshments for all those who join in.

Hopefully see you there!

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Feb 12
2014

Tree works at the south end of the Park

As mentioned in the news article just before Christmas several cherry trees were brought down in the gales in December. The Council Trees and Woodlands officers also identified 5 other cherry trees that were diseased or rotten at the base and these will be felled shortly. In addition they carried out a survey of the tall Lombardy poplars along the southern boundary of the Park and some other trees in this area. Unfortunately 5 of the poplars and a birch tree were found to be in a dangerous condition and these will be need to be felled.

The loss of these trees from this area is regrettable but, as they are alongside a path, public safety is paramount. The Friends group will be working with the council on a plan to replace these trees.

If you have any queries on this work or suggestions on new planting please get in touch with the Park Tree Warden (treewarden@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk ) or Mike Shields (Mike.Shields@edinburgh.gov.uk ) the Community Parks Officer at the Council or simply leave a comment below

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Jan 20
2014

Help us Update the Park Management Plan

One of the strengths of The Green Flag Award is for a park to have a Management Plan.  This sets out what makes the park special and what needs to be done to continually improve the park for people, wildlife, local heritage, etc.

The Braidburn Valley Park Management Plan has reached the end of its current five year period.  The Friends are keen to get your views on what should be done in the next five years to improve the park for all.  We will then work with the Council to get as many ideas as possible taken into consideration.

Please take a look at the current Management Plan on our website.  Let us have your thoughts by the end of February by contacting us on info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk.

Thank you for your support.

 

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Dec 22
2013

Cherry Tree trefoil: storm damage

The storms and strong winds of the last couple of weeks have unfortunately brought down a few of the old cherry trees.These are mainly in the avenue at the south most end of the Park on the steep hill. The council have cleared these away but several other trees in this area are rotten at the base and will also need to be felled  before they too fall victim to the gales.Storm damage 2013

Around 15 of the 40 trees in this avenue have been blown down or have had to be removed for safety reasons in the last few years. The Friends group will be looking at options with the council to find funding to replace this avenue of cherry trees.

Please take care when walking in this area in the strong winds that are forecast in the next weeks or so.

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Dec 16
2013

New hawthorn tree

The Friends group planted a new tree  yesterday to replace one that died last year. The tree is behind the interpretation panel at the south end of the Park at the top of the wild flower meadow. The tree is a standard Hawthorn (Crataegus prunifolia ‘Splendens’) which has white spring blossom and good leaFriends Group plant Hawthorn treef colour in the autumn. The dense thorny crown will also be a good habitat for birds.

 

 

 

 

 

The tree was supplied by Damhead Nursery (http://www.damheadnursery.co.uk/)

Thanks to all those who helped take out the old tree and plant the new one. Many hands made light work to plant this large tree complete with ground anchor, stakes and protective cage.

We also took the opportunity to plant a few small native hawthorn shrubs, donated by a local resident, in the rough grass at the SW side of the Park to add to the shrubs planted by school children this spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 2
2013

Wheatley Elms

Wheatley Elms

Comiston Road, Edinburgh

Wheatley Elms, Comiston Road, Edinburgh (November)

 

The line of trees in Braidburn Valley Park alongside Comiston Road are a prominent feature of the landscape. These trees are predominantly Wheatley Elms planted in the 1930s when the Park was created.

Origins

Wheatley Elms are considered to be a variety of the Cornish Elm (Ulmus minor). Recent work by Forest Research (see Ecotype Autumn 2013) has shown that all the Wheatley Elms in the UK are likely to be a  single clone.  This clone was thought to have originated in northern France but was first recorded in a description of a tree in Guernsey in 1815. A London nurseryman, George Loddiges, was the first to propagate it in England in 1836 and considered it sufficiently distinctive to warrant its own scientific name Ulmus x sarniensis, after Sarnia the Roman name for Guernsey. In the mid 19th century the tree was propagated by Sir William Cooke of Wheatley Park, hence the current common name. The earliest use of the name Wheatley Elm for this tree occurs in 1869.  The trees were also propagated in large numbers by a tree nursery in Southampton in the late 19th century. This elm was widely planted as a street tree due to its upright habit although surviving examples are now rare. Edinburgh is now one of the best places in the country to see these trees. As well as the trees in Braidburn Valley Park there are small numbers of  Wheatley Elms in Princes Street Gardens and Warriston Cemetery

CharacteristicsBurr on Wheatley Elm

The Wheatley Elm is a tall pyramidal tree of very even shape with ascending branches  tapering to a distinct pointed top. The trees come into leaf very late compared to other trees (sometimes as late as June) and hold onto their leaves into December. The leaves are small relative to other elm leaves and turn a glorious golden yellow before they fall.

The tree frequently develop distinctive burrs on its trunk. Several of these are visible low down on the trunks of the trees alongside Comiston Road and are of a considerable size. They do not appear to affect the trees vigour.

Dutch elm disease and management

The Wheatley Elms have slowly been succumbing to Dutch Elm disease. The City of Edinburgh Council has an active management programme for this tree disease; the trees are inspected annually and any showing signs of infection are felled. This management has helped preserve this fine stand of elms and over 40 trees remain. The Elms trees that have been removed are being replaced with trees of a different species mostly Red-twigged lime (Tilia platyphyllos ‘rubra’) due to the high risk of infection of Dutch Elms disease if new elms were planted.

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For more details on trees in the Park see the Friends of Braidburn Valley Park website

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Nov 25
2013

A date for your diary – AGM 2014

Your are warmly invited to attend THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Friends of Braidburn Valley Park on Sunday 23rd February 2014

AGENDA

2.00 pm meet at main gate, Greenbank Crescent. Guided walk about with committee members to look at work carried out in 2013 and discuss Park maintenance and enhancements.
2.30 pm approx.  Greenbank Parish church for refreshments followed by a short business meeting.

Apologies for absence should be sent to the secretary at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk

 

 

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Sep 25
2013

Do you like being out in the Autumn Fresh Air?

Just to let you know that our Autumn clean and clear up is this Sunday (Sunday 29th September) from 2pm to 4pm.

Even if you have only an hour to spare, it is surprising how much a family or an individual can do in an hour to improve the look of our park. It can be surprisingly fulfilling to see the rubbish piled up and gives you a renewed sense of ownership of your patch. Parents have told us that it has been good for their children to learn that litter needs to be picked up by someone.

Just come to the area on the main path (south of the ‘stage’) and pick up the equipment you need.We supply waders for those who fancy paddling, gloves, litter pickers, bags etc.

There are free refreshments for all those who join in.

Hopefully see you there!

 

 

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Aug 19
2013

Tea In the Park 2013: Sat 7th Sept

Just a  few weeks to go to this year’s BIG event.

Tea in the Park Fun Day

Saturday, 7th  September 2013 from 14:00 – 16:30

Transgression Park stunt cyclists display team with cycle skills area,

Magic Max– Magician and balloon modeller,

Morningside Pipe Band,

as well as face painting, raft building, 2 bouncy castles, ceilidh band, beat the goallie, Fire engine, quizzes, bar, cafe and home baking.

As usual the highlight at the end of the day will be the World Famous Duck Race.

Please come and join us – bring a picnic and make a day of it!

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Aug 19
2013

Stonework repairs complete on entrance gates

The entrance gates and pillars on Greenbank Crescent originally formed the entrance to Comiston House in Camus Avenue.Unfortunately the ornamental stonework on the right hand pillar was knocked off by a delivery vehicle in February in connection with work on the new bridge at the south end of the Park. Their insurers accepted the claim and a contract was let by Edinburgh Council Bridges and Structures Department to have the stone urn and damaged pillar replaced. The stone mason has sourced stone with as close a match to the original as possible and the work was completed at the start of August. It is hoped the new stonework will soon weather down to match the colour of the rest of structure.

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Jun 10
2013

Stone entrance pillar

The ornamental stonework on the pillar at the entrance to Braidburn Valley Park was knocked off by a bridge repair vehicle in February. At long last their insurers have accepted the claim and a contract is being let by Edinburgh Council Bridges and Structures Department to have the stone urn and damaged pillar replaced.

The stone mason will source stone with as close a colour match to the original as possible. it is anticipated that the work will be completed by the end of July 2013.

If you have any queries, please contact Lloyd Glen, Clerk of Works, Bridges and Structures Department, Edinburgh Council on 0131 469 3489 or email Lloyd.Glen@edinburgh.gov.uk. ”

 

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May 6
2013

Bridge replacement – update 6

We have had an update from the council on the progress with the new bridge

The Bridge.

The contractor Crummock delayed the painting until warmer weather and is now proposing to complete the painting starting on Tuesday. It is hoped that they will complete this in a few days.

Crummock is also arranging for additional anti skid material to complete the bridge and is hoping that their sub-contractor will return to the site to complete it within the next week.

When the bridgeworks are finished, Crummock has to tidy the site and reinstate damaged landscaping. Once this is done there will be a meeting on site with relevant Councillors to view the works and ensure that all has been made good.

The Gate Pillar.

Repairs to the pillar are likely to take longer. The materials delivery firm, which was responsible for the damage, has referred the matter to their insurers. The claim has been lodged and the tenders for repair submitted. We are now waiting for loss adjusters to visit the site for further assessment. Although the urgency of this issue has been stressed by the Council, we do not yet have a date for repairs to commence.

We will keep Friends up to date as we have more information

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Apr 11
2013

Spring Cleanup Sunday 21st April

Please join us for the annual Spring Clean up on Sunday 21st April  from 2 to 4.30. As usual we will be removing litter from the burn and surrounding area. There will also be an opportunity to plant some additional wild flower plug plants in the new area of meadow which was created last year to be specifically attractive to bees. We also have a few bog plants for those with wellies.

Spring Clean Up 2008 7 (web)
Litter pickers, gloves and equipment will all be supplied along as well as refreshments.

Everyone is welcome – please join us

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Apr 3
2013

Bridge replacement update 5

The new bridge at the south end of the Park has been  in place for a few weeks now but final completion awaits warmer weather . The bridge will be painted black and an application of an anti-skid surface applied as soon as the temperature increases enough for the work to be done. The painting works require temperatures above 5 degrees to cure.

When this has been done the damage to the path and grass areas will be repaired.

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Mar 30
2013

New path created

Thanks to all those that helped move the materials to build the new path at the north end of the Park. It is now open for use. Many tonnes are hardcore have been laid on fabric matting to create a path through the muddy area between the bridge by the main gates and the area to the east of the Braidburn.
New path March 2013

This should allow everyone to enjoy this route whatever their footwear! Hopefully by the end of summer the vegetation at each side of the new path will have recovered and the path will have blended into the surroundings.

 

 

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Mar 25
2013

Easter Saturday path building

If you are a regular user of the Park you will probably be aware that after the bridge at the north (main gates) end was installed a few years ago the increased foot traffic on the grass alongside the burn has eventually created a wide muddy area that is tricky to cross in wet weather without wellies.
This coming weekend the Friends group, with help from the Scouts and Explorers, will be constructing a solid path across this area. If you fancy joining in with this work please come along at 10am on Saturday and lend a hand. There will be lots of barrowing of materials to be done as well as laying the path itself.

Thanks

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Mar 2
2013

AGM 2013 – Sunday 10 March

Your are warmly invited to attend THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Friends of Braidburn Valley Park on Sunday 10th March 2013.

Apologies for absence should be sent to the secretary at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk

AGENDA

2.00 pm meet at main gate, Greenbank Crescent
Guided walk about with committee members to witness works carried out over the year. We may be joined by an official from the Council’s Bridges and Structures department to discuss the new bridge at the south end of the Park,
2.30 pm approx.  Greenbank Parish church for refreshments followed by a short business meeting.

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Feb 27
2013

Bridge replacement update 4

The new bridge at the south end of the Park is now in place and the path approaches have been re-instated and tarmaced. Final painting and an application of an anti-skid surface will be carried out in the next few days and it is hoped the bridge will be open for use early next week.

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