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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.

May 19
2022

Late arrivals in the Park

Our long-promised cherry trees have finally arrived, after many covid-related delays. Some of the original trees  (of the 400 planted in 1935) were culled last week; and their replacements (15 of them) were planted in the last few days. They have been selected to give greater variety and an extended blossoming season. We are grateful to AEB Charitable Trust for a substantial grant which, along with donations from Friends, made this possible. Many of the original 400 are still with us; so this is an ongoing project!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Apr 15
2022

Spring Clean Up

Some good news! After consultation with the Council, the FOBVP committee has agreed that the time has finally come to resume our park-cleanups. It will be held on Sunday April 24th from 2 to 4pm. We will provide rubbish-pickers, hoops and bags; but please bring your own gloves (and refreshments!) if you need them. And please continue to observe social distancing. We’ll meet in our “usual” place, in the middle of the park. All are welcome. But please note that children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Members who enjoy the hands-on experience of park-cleanups may like to explore other park-related volunteering opportunities. If so, take a look at this account of some of the things the Friends do at present and look out for further announcements as we seek to extend our programme of volunteering work.

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Mar 27
2022

Mural project opening

We plan to hold a short official “opening” for the Park’s Mural Project on Saturday April 2nd at 11 AM. Artist Chris Rutterford will be present and will say a little about his work and how this project has unfolded. Our Parks Officer asks us to maintain a cautiously healthy distance: there should be plenty of room on the hillside! And, at this point, it looks as if we can expect some sunshine. A reminder (in case you have not been in the park for a while) that the place to go to is the old electricity substation, at the end of the Fly Walk that runs down to the Park from Greenbank Crescent, starting opposite the end of Greenbank Park. Or you can walk through the Park looking up the hillside on the west side. You’ll find a map here .

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Mar 23
2022

New arrivals in the Park

Those visiting the park in the last day or two will have seen the culmination of our Mural Project, transforming the electricity substation on the western hillside with the artwork of Chris Rutterford, aided by the pupils of Firrhill High School. An official opening, including a contribution by Chris, is planned sometime soon: more information in due course.


Another recent arrival is our third picnic table. This one is  wheelchair-accessible.  It has taken the place of one of the two standard (full-bench) tables at the north end. And the latter has been moved to a new site, further south into the park.  Well-timed to match these summery days!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Feb 23
2022

Our AGM…

Once again (we hope it will be the last time!)  this year’s AGM  will be online, courtesy of Zoom. The meeting is scheduled for Sunday 27th February at 2pm. It will include short presentations on the park’s on-going Mural Project, and Tree planning.  FOBVP members should find an invitation with a Zoom link in their Inbox (or possibly spam folder!). Please join us if you can.

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Feb 3
2022

Winter Valley Voice and AGM

The Winter edition of Valley Voice is now on the website. You will find it here. There is word of our forthcoming AGM (Zoom again); and many interesting things…

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Jul 14
2021

Summer Valley Voice

The summer edition of Valley Voice is hot off the press and now on the website. You will find it here:
http://www.braidburnvalleypark.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Valley-Voice-42.pdf

It has updates on cherry trees, picnic tables and more…

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Apr 22
2021

New cherry trees for old

One of the park’s best known features is its splendid array of cherry trees in the south-east corner. The original trees were planted in November 1935 by 5000 Guides, Rangers and Brownies, for the Silver Jubilee of King George V. They were planted in a trefoil shape, the emblem of the Guide movement. The trefoil-shape is fairly clear if you take a birds-eye view with the aid of Google Earth….

The trees are approaching the end of their days and a replacement programme (under the supervison of the Council’s tree officer) has been going on since 2008. Over the last year or two we have had a number of donations from members wanting to contribute to this programme. And  we have recently had confirmation of a successful application to the AEB Charitable Trust which will bring £5000 for this purpose. We are now in a position to fund 18-20 new trees. (The  cost per tree may seem steep: but it covers the cost of the planting and the necessary care and attention that the council supplies over the first years). The Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust will help with the planning and planting. And we expect to see some new trees in the ground by the late Autumn.

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Mar 31
2021

The BBVP otter in action

This short clip of the park otter was captured a few weeks ago by Daniel Campbell:

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Mar 16
2021

Picnic tables and other matters

Our AGM duly zoomed a couple of Sundays ago (you’ll find the minutes in the Meetings section of the website). And the committee has met once since then. These meetings covered two matters worth highlighting:

1. Picnic tables In partnership with the Greenbank Brownies we have secured funding (through contributions from the Council and Tesco) for three picnic tables. We hope they will arrive in the park before long…soon enough to enjoy during the beautiful summer that we are surely entitled to expect.

2. Park activities. We are reconciled to the fact that organised park activities must remain on hold for the time being. But members are encouraged to incorporate an occasional mini clean up into their regular park walking. We do not envisage the return of Tea in the Park this year. But we are open to the possibility of some smaller-scale venture, which can be planned on a shorter timescale. Perhaps ducks will get to race down the Braidburn again. Saturday September 4th has been pencilled in –as much in hope as expectation.

I’ve added a few pictures to the Wildlife gallery on the website. Our otter is there now; along with a tree-creeper and a dipper.

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Feb 15
2021

Zoom into this year’s AGM

Our 2021 AGM is scheduled for Sunday Feb 28th at 2pm. This year (guess why!) we’ll be meeting on line, courtesy of Zoom. If you are a member, and your email address is registered with us, you’ll get a Zoom invitation in your email a few days before.

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Feb 15
2021

Look out for Otters

Claire Jellema was lucky enough to see this otter in the park a few days ago….swimming and hunting (successfuly) for fish.

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Jun 3
2020

May in the Park

Here are some photos taken in the park over these last sunny weeks…

Dianne’s Garden coming into bloom
One of our recently planted cherry trees at its best
A male Orange Tip butterfly
Neil Milton spotted this Kestrel, and also…
… this Blackcap Warbler. You can hear it singing here.
A pair of Bullfinches
A Long Tailed Tit
A nesting Woodpigeon with her eye on you

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Apr 24
2020

A walk through the Park

Here are some pictures taken over the last few days, showing the park coming reassuringly to life…

… the graceful willow at the wooden bridge …
…. many of the newer cherry trees in the Trefoil blossoming, with more to come.
Some of the later daffodils still add to the colours.
Two dippers have been successful in the hunt for food….
I spotted a pair of grey wagtails, though the camera only caught one.
I think this is a female Blackcap Warbler…
The first of 3 butterflies, this one a Comma which is seen on brambles
A Small Tortoiseshell…
…and a Peacock

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Apr 2
2020

Spring cheer

Here are a few pictures taken in the park over the last few days….

Chionodoxa beside the Orchard, planted last November
Daffodils and Chionodoxa in Dianne’s Garden
One of the cherry trees planted by Guides last April
The willow dome, with new growth 

Stay safe….stay cheerful!

Best wishes to all

Alastair and Margaret Bruce

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Feb 18
2020

Our AGM is coming soon…

Our Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday 23rd February. If the weather is tolerable we will meet at the main park gates (north end) at 2 pm for a short walk through the park to highlight things done in the last year or planned for the next. If the weather is unkind we shall retreat to Greenbank Church hall, where the AGM will begin around 3 pm.

We are still in search of a couple of members willing to join the committee to help keep our activities going. If you think that might be you please email membership@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk…or speak to one of the committee on Sunday.

There will be tea and biscuits and a warm welcome to all.

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Nov 30
2019

Birthday cherry tree

Here is the latest episode in the story of the cherry tree trefoil…

Elspeth Brown, the daughter of one of the Guides who planted the 400 cherry trees in 1935, joined us in April this year to help plant the replacement trees. Her mother took such pleasure in hearing about this, that Elspeth and her sisters, Morag and Sheila, decided to give her a cherry tree in the park for her 96th birthday. 
Elspeth and Sheila helped plant the tree yesterday, adding a small plaque with their mother’s name.

We sincerely thank them for this lovely idea, which gives pleasure all round! Thanks also to Ross and Scott of Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, who helped with the organisation and the hard work.

The tree is a Prunus Shimidsu Sakura, which has large blossoms turning from pink to white. We look forward to seeing it flower next Spring!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Sep 23
2019

Autumn Cleanup

Our Autumn Clean Up is due this coming weekend, on Sunday September 29th from 2 to 4pm. As usual we will provide rubbish-picker-uppers, protective gloves and waders…and refreshments will be available. Meet in the usual place, in the middle of the park. All are welcome.  But please note that  children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Aug 16
2019

Tea in the Park 2019

Coming soon to a Park near you! It’s a little earlier than usual this year: Saturday August 31, 1.30 to 4.30pm. See the poster for further details!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Jul 22
2019

A good news story!

Did you know that out of the 71 Green Flag awards for the whole of Scotland, more than half – 34 – are in Edinburgh? Including, of course, Braidburn Valley Park, which has held the Green Flag since 2007, when it was the first in Scotland to gain the award.
A good news story about the combined efforts of the Council with support from Friends organisations!

To read more, go to:
http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/2695/green_flag_success_for_a_quarter_of_edinburghs_parks

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Jul 17
2019

Summer edition of Valley Voice

The latest edition of Valley Voice is now available here, packed with news of what’s been going on in the park. Note that Tea in the Park is coming into view, a little earlier than usual…

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Jun 18
2019

Play and fitness date

On Sunday June 23rd there will be an opportunity in the park for fun, games and fitness activities. All ages welcome! More details in this poster .

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Apr 29
2019

New cherry trees for old

On Friday 5th April, Guides past and present joined to help plant new cherry trees in the Park.

The original trees were planted in November 1935 by 5000 Guides, Rangers and Brownies, for the Silver Jubilee of King George V. They were planted in a trefoil shape, the emblem of the Guide movement.

In 2002 some of the original planters returned to help plant new trees and daffodils, and were made life members of the Friends. Then, in 2008, cherry trees were planted by some of them and present Guides, Brownies, Rangers and Rainbows for the centenary of the Guide movement.

This time around, we were able to contact Anne Morham, who as a Brownie Leader helped children from her pack at Douglas House to plant a tree on that cold day in 1935, and Elspeth Brown, whose mother assisted back then. Elspeth has herself been involved in guiding all her life; blind from birth, she is a leader with the guides at the Royal Blind School.


They were joined by present day guides, including Eilidh Nelson Davidson. (Left to right: Elspeth, Eilidh and Anne.) One break with tradition: it was a warm, sunny day, unlike previous occasions with snow on the ground!

We thank Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust for their support: they sourced the trees, accessed funding from Transpennine, and indeed did all the hard work, as well as being so helpful in organising the planting of two trees by our Guides!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Apr 25
2019

Spring clean

The next park clean up is scheduled for Sunday April 28th, from 2 to 4 pm. As usual we will provide rubbish-picker-uppers, protective gloves and waders…and refreshments will be available. We will meet at the usual place, around half way along the main path. All are welcome. It looks as if we can expect a sunny day!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Jan 21
2019

Valley Voice – Jan 2019 – our mini magazine

A couple of times a year, we publish a mini magazine updating everyone about the latest events and plans in Braidburn Valley Park. So here is our latest edition of The Valley Voice – January 2019! Read all about…

  • Tea in the Park – another successful fun day
  • New outdoor gym – get fit in 2019
  • Dianne‟s Garden – new growth in our park
  • Heritage craft projects – spring workshops
  • Save the date – Annual General Meeting and park walk – Main gate, 2pm on Sunday 24th February 2019

It’s all colourful with plenty of pictures, thanks to its new Editor-in-Chief, Ian.

Happy reading :)

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Nov 30
2018

The most fun you can have on your knees?

On the last day of November a few stalwart Friends ignored the dire weather forecast and gathered at Dianne’s Garden for some bulb planting. There were some 5000 bulbs.. fortunately mostly happy to share their holes with 10 or more others. So it took not much more than an hour. And the rain held off too. Look out for the green shoots in the spring!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Nov 26
2018

Valley Voice – Summer 2018

Here it is folks – news about all the various projects in the park…

Valley voice July 2018: Obituary—Dianne Savage, a true friend of the park, sadly missed  Garden planting project at main entrance  Outdoor Exercise equipment update  Tea in the Park 2018 – save the date  The General Data Protection Regulations

 

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Aug 25
2018

Tea in the Park – 2-4:30pm, Saturday 1st September!

Join us for our annual family fun day! It’s FREE, so come along and bring your friends and family, and cross your fingers for a nice sunny day. Here’s the Facebook event. As well as the obligatory DUCK RACE in the burn, the assorted fun will include:

Slime making | Den building | Ceilidh dancing | Junk raft building | Story telling | Arts and crafts | Vikings | Home baking | Pizza and Bar | Fire shows | Obstacle course | Dance performances | Face painting | Orienteering | Pocket money games | Dr Bike

Here’s the Tea in the Park POSTER for the full line up! It’s entirely run by volunteers, and aims to bring our local community together to enjoy a nice afternoon, larking around together in our park. Any proceeds go to projects to improve Braidburn Valley Park. Spread the word!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Feb 4
2018

Latest Valley Voice – Winter 2017/18

Read all about it! Here is The Valley Voice issue 35. Here’s what’s in it…

  • Work has started on our new community garden
  • The AGM is on Sunday 25th February 2018 – meeting at 2pm at the main park gates for a park stroll and then 2:30pm at Greenbank Church Hall for the meeting itself
  • Wildlife camera
  • New bridge names
  • Remembering Jim Lavin
  • Help needed to organise Tea in the Park

Happy reading :)

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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Jan 21
2018

AGM & park walk – Sunday 25th Feb 2018

Come and join us for the Annual General Meeting, on Sunday 25th February 2018. The meeting itself is at Greenbank Church, starting at 2:30pm. But as in previous years, we’ll meet at 2pm at the main park gates opposite the church, for a stroll around the park together. If the weather is really terrible, we’ll just head straight for the church for a 2:30pm start. 

Tea and biscuits provided! Come and hear what has been going on, what plans are afoot for the coming year, and how you might get involved. It’s a nice way to meet your neighbours.

By way of a preview of the agenda, we are in need of an organiser for Tea in the Park 2018. If nobody comes forward then it simply won’t happen… Please email info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk if you fancy getting involved.

We are also on the look out for 2+ new members of the Committee. It involves coming along to 4 meetings a year, and we are a friendly bunch.

We hope to see everyone on 25th February! :)

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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/)

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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!

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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.

 

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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.

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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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

 

 

If you have any comments or questions about this post please email us at info@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk .

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