Friends of Burdiehouse

Burn Valley Park

Issue Number 30
January 2017
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January Newsletter
  • This Month's Activity Reminder - Woodland Management in Burdiehouse
  • New Year Message - Great Year for Your Park
  • Happy New Year from Police Scotland - 'You're Nicked', First Biker of the Year Arrested
  • Next Month's Activity
This Saturday - Woodland Management/Litter Pick

Meet Outside Valley Park Community Centre, Southhouse Road at at 10am

This month we will again be doing woodland management in Burdiehouse. Last month's activity was very successful and we managed to improve a large area at Burdiehouse Street. We cleared lots of litter as well. We had three new volunteers along, and they all worked very hard and made a huge difference to the work we could get done. A big thank you to them for turning out. 

On Saturday we will again focus our activity on the Burdiehouse area. Dress appropriately for the weather and we will have trained Friends on hand to make sure you know what to do. Again litter picking will be available for those looking for lighter duties.  

We will be doing Willow Weaving next month.
Happy New Year
A Good Year for the Park and Community

Welcome to a briefer than usual Newsletter - because of the holidays. We can look forward to the year with confidence as things are in pretty good shape. In the area of the park things are going well for people and for the community:

For Residents

Unemployment continues to fall and anti-social behaviour does too. At the end of last year there were just over 430 registered unemployed in Liberton/Gilmerton, which is a fall of nearly 200 since 2014. Anti-social behaviour is still a problem in the park, but that too is much better than it was historically. We have had serious problems with trail bikes (see below), trollies galore in the burn, some worrying fires and litter is still our biggest practical headache. But these issues are far less significant than times when youth drinking was an epidemic and there was often a burnt out car a week in the area. That means that the problems we do have should be easier to deal with and we remain determined to tackle the scourge of dangerous biking, and the news in that regard is very good for the start of 2017 as you can read below.

Just to emphasise that point, we must mention one of the great highlights of last year which shows just how great kids can be these days. On our Batwalk we had over sixty people and almost half were kids from Gilmerton Primary. They were lively (a good thing) but they were extremely well behaved ands a huge credit to their parents and the school. Those young people alone should give us great confidence for the future of the park and of the area.

For Wildlife

Again, all the signs are good. Our BioBlitz survey shows that biodiversity is increasing. We have more mature woodland and which is encouraging new species into the park, with at least one new bat species being detected. Just one example of how wildlife is returning is the comma butterfly which was absent from this area of Scotland for more than a century, but in line with its recovery throughout the country it again visits the Burdiehouse Burn. Check out the two stories below to get some great news on wildlife, especially from Figgate Park which is an amazing place and well worth a visit. There's no room for complacency, but the signs are very encouraging and our Bioblitz and habitat improvement activity will continue this year.

It Matters

Why does it all matter? Because we want the park to be a place where residents can be more active and where families kids can run free without fear, and enjoy a space that's twice the size of Princes Street Gardens getting much needed exercise at the same time. All the evidence shows that people need to 'get out more' for a healthier and happier life and where better than one of the city's finest parks. We are a small but enthusiastic group, but our aim in 2017 is to make your park even better still. Have a great year.
Figgate Park Wildlife - Edinburgh News
Guardian - Good News on Wildlife 2016
Happy New Year From Police Scotland - 'You're Nicked'

First Arrest and Confiscation of the Year as Police Act Early - Bike Summit Planned

This is a shorter bulletin than usual, but we couldn't let this great news go unrecorded. Our campaign to tackle illegal and dangerous motor biking in the park has had the best possible boost at the start of the year. One biker has already been arrested and his bike confiscated. Investigations are continuing with regard to two other bikers filmed in the park and of course the case of the 6/7 year old child biking there has been reported too.

Big thanks are due to Police Scotland for this excellent start to 2017, and local councillor Keith Robson is arranging a 'Bikes Summit' with the police to help take the campaign forward. We're determined to make sure that action continues to discourage illegal and dangerous motorbiking in your park. We will report further in future newsletters. Nice to start the year on such a positive note.
Next Month - Willow Weaving
Next Month we will again be out on the second Saturday of the month - the 11th at 10am. We will be carrying out Willow Weaving at Ellen's Glen where bank erosion thereatens the pathway through the glen. 

Again we will have fully fully trained Friends volunteers to guide anyone coming along. Last year's work has established really well and it will be good to get this area finished. Put the date in your diary and the reminder will be in next month's bulletin.
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Friends of Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park · 39 The Spinney · Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH17 7LE · United Kingdom

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