Welcome to Craigmillar Park Association
The area of the South Edinburgh map below outlined in black is the Craigmillar Park Conservation Area and is the same as that covered by the Craigmillar Park Association. With the help of the residents we monitor planning applications and help protect the environment for future generations to enjoy. We support the community in a variety of ways, go to our About Us page for full information. Click on map to view full size.
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in the Nature Strips.
Saturday 27th January 2018, it was the windiest day of the weekend (SSW to WSW winds from 21 to 24 mph). Thankfully the rain from earlier in the morning had stopped and when we began it was mild and dry but overcast. We had decided to do the RSPB big garden birdwatch between 11 am and 12 noon to avoid the morning chill. Our four volunteers managed to watch all five nature strips and while many of the usual birds were spotted there are a few ordinarily seen while working in the strips which did not show up. Sadly the robin which regularly keeps up company on Nature Strip 4 when we are breaking ground was not seen, nor the wren which has been spotted in this strip. The RSPB specify that only birds which land in the area can be counted.The maximum number of a type of bird seen at any point in time during the hour is the number recorded, this avoids counting the same birds twice. At some points there was frustration when a bird flew over but did not land or when birdsong could be heard from the trees but sightings remained elusive. The birds recorded for each strip are noted below.
The hour provided an enjoyable time to observe the behaviour of our avian neighbours in the Nature Strips. Christine saw a magpie in an adjacent garden chasing three blackbirds that then flew into the nature strip enabling a good spot. Hopefully our Nature Strip work will enhance the habitat for them in the future.
2017 AGM – 27 October 2017
Ronald MacArthur, the new chair reports:
The meeting was held in Craigmillar Park Church Hall and was attended by approx. sixty people including our MP – Ian Murray to whom our thanks is extended.
The retiring Chair, Eileen Francis, presented her Annual Report and the CPA Accounts (approved).
She stressed the importance of monitoring closely planning applications and objecting where such applications detract from the Conservation Area rules.
The Committee wish to extend our grateful thanks to Eileen and our retiring Secretary, Peredur Williams, both of whom contributed so much to the effectiveness of the Committee.
A draft copy of the AGM Minutes is attached hereto.
You can read PDF of our Autumn Newsletter here.
Nature Strips Project: Report November 2017
1. The autumn tidy-up has begun and residents may have noticed large piles of green waste in or at the edges of the five strips awaiting pick-up by Mike Shield’s team. We hope they will come week beginning 13th November and continue pick-ups throughout the winter months.
2. Mike has delivered a large sack of bulbs – February Gold daffodils and some kind of hyacinth – and volunteers are in the process of trying to plant them. This is a more difficult task than you might imagine, as the soil is dry and hard as it is root-bound.
3. Simon Gage and Louise Baker have done an amazing job of felling several unwanted laurels in strip 4 and also digging out the roots. There is already more light and air penetrating this densely packed area.
4. The herbaceous border at the front of strip 5 is now dug over and planted as far as the middle of Gilmour Road South, and rockery stones laid to prevent soil slippage from the bed on to the pavement. Thanks to Simon for donating the stones. Piles of leaves have been piled up behind the bushes and trees in the hope that they will enrich the soil as they rot. Compost is being delivered to the Lygon Road end of the strip 5 on Friday 17th November and it is hoped this will be dug in soon thereafter so that we can plant more bulbs and hardy perennials
5. Ian Morrison, the Council’s tree officer whose remit includes our area, gave a fascinating talk at the CPA AGM on 26th October. You can read the transcript by clicking on the link above this report. Ian has already made a detailed study of strip 1 and hopes to put his plans into action during the coming year. Each strip will be examined and dealt with in turn and so it will take four years or so to complete the task. This project is ensure our trees are healthy and safe and we have a steady programme of replanting for future generations.
6. Last but by no means least, thank you to all my fellow volunteers and to those who have kindly made financial donations towards the maintenance of this shared local asset.
Wilma Elton 9th November 2017
In November 2016 the CPA commissioned a Nature Strip Biodiversity Report from Sarah Sigsworth to guide volunteers interested in contributing to the conservation of the nature strips. We thank Sarah for the excellent report received in January 2017. To read in full CLICK HERE.
In summary Sarah recommended that:
In the short term the aim should be to reduce the dominance of laurel and to improve native species diversity and gradation of vegetation from ground flora through to the shrub layer and tree canopy.
In the longer term the aim should be to plan for the regeneration of tree species through planting of (or maintenance of existing) saplings to replace mature trees when they reach the end of their life span.
The Listed Pavilion
At 3pm on Tuesday 26 September members of the CPA met in East Suffolk Road to watch the re-location of the listed Pavilion by the developers .
When permission was granted to build on the former playing field, CPA, with residents in Crawfurd Road, had achieved the concession from the ECC planning committee that the listed Pavilion should be conserved and that the public space surrounding it should be landscaped to provide public access . This is the first stage in realising this decision and we look forward to further developments.
“Places, people and planning” – A consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system
On 10th January the Scottish Government published this consultation paper setting out key components of a new Planning Bill to be brought forward in year 2 of the present Parliamentary Session. The proposed changes to the planning system are derived from the Review Panel Report published last year and the subsequent working parties established to consider various aspects of the planning system and possible reforms. The consultation ran until April 2017. As a result, the Scottish Government has indicated that it will present a Planning Bill before the Scottish Parliament in 2017/8. However no precise timetable for the Bill has yet been published. ( as of 2nd November 2017).
Reviewing the Management Plan for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.
The Management Plan identifies what is significant about the World Heritage Site, recognises challenges and threats, and sets out policies to preserve and enhance the Site. This new survey gives everyone the chance to let us know how well you think the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh work as a place to live, work and visit. Click HERE to visit website and read the feedback. A further meeting will take place in November 2017 to discuss all the responses to the Plan.
Survey into range expansion of an Allium paradoxum population in Craigmillar Park.
Ealier this year we were asked for help from University of Edinburgh students who were doing a survey of invasive plants in our area. We thank Shona Irvine for sending the report. Read an abstract of the Report:
Allium paradoxum is an invasive plant originally from Central Asia and introduced into the UK in 1823. An invasive plant is a plant species that causes problems for an area (economic or otherwise). A. paradoxum. is considered invasive as it outcompetes native plants and forms monocultures in woodlands and near waterways. We investigated whether a specific A. paradoxum monoculture in Craigmillar Park is spreading and any management strategies that could be used to counter this. We mapped the density of an A. paradoxum population and found that the density was lower around its edges and thus it’s spreading. More…
Royal Blind School Building
CPA does not at present have verifiable information on the progress of the CALA development of the former Royal Blind School Building.
Any planning application will be scrutinised closely by CPA.
Kings Building Redevelopment
Edinburgh University: King’s Buildings Campus – School of Biological Sciences
Application 16/02873/FUL – Proposed extension and redevelopment of Darwin Building & other works.
This application, which was supported by the community council, was approved on 7th November 2016. The site covers the southern part of the King’s Buildings Campus bounded to the north by Max Born Crescent. It is not in a conservation area, but is bounded to the west and south by scheduled Open Space and Green Belt and to the east across Mayfield Road by the Craigmillar Park Conservation Area. This substantial project is the first step in the programme of major investment by the University at this Campus as described in the talk at our last AGM.
Composting by Frances Lindsay
Here is the talk by Frances Linsay given at last years AGM.
Frances Lindsay first got interested in composting about ten years ago after seeing an advert by the Council for volunteers to train as Master Composters. The main purpose of this scheme was to encourage people to compost their kitchen and garden waste instead of filling their dustbins with it. At that time (2004) about one third of an average dustbin’s contents was biodegradable material. So she trained as a Master Composter and to spread the composting message gave talks to community groups, engaged members of the public at events, handed out leaflets and visited householders who requested help with composting problems. Since that time the brown bin garden rubbish collection has been extended across the city and now that the food waste caddy collection has also been introduced, the Edinburgh Master Composter project has ended. Read the PDF.
From now on we are adding their ratified minutes on our website. November ’15 – January ’16 – February 16 – March 16 – May 2016 – June 2016 – October 2016 – November 2016 – February 2017 – March 2017 – June 2017 – September 2017 – October 2017 – November 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018
The Community Council is a member of the Cockburn Association (For everyone who loves Edinburgh) Here is a link to their latest NEWSLETTER.
South East Edinburgh Locality Improvement Plan
Click Here to view plan.
Strategic Development Plan (SDP)
This SDP covers the SESplan area from the Borders to part of Fife, including Edinburgh. The members of SESplan are City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council, Midlothian Council, West Lothian Council, Fife Council and Scottish BordersCouncil. The SDP sets the strategy for Local Development Plans (see above) and the new plan SESplan2 is to replace in 2018 the 2013 SDP SESplan covering a 20 year period. The public consultation on SESplan2 ran until November 2016 and representations made are currently being considered.
Friends of Newington Cemetery
Grange/Prestonfield Community Council has set up an Interest Group of local volunteers, Friends of Newington Cemetery. Their long term vision is to restore Newington Cemetery to its former glory, by helping to clear overgrown areas and restore gravestones, and by liaising with the community and the families of those buried there. New members are always welcome, both to attend meetings and help at working parties that are held on a Monday between 10am and noon. Go to their Website for contact information.
Craigmillar Park Bowling Club
Situated in our Conservation Area, Craigmillar Park Bowling Club extends a warm welcome to new members in all age categories, previous experience of bowling is not necessary. Trained coaches are on hand to provide assistance, and all equipment (shoes, bowls) can be provided by the Club. For full information go to www.cpbc.org.uk:
One of the foremost names in Scottish tennis, Waverley Lawn Tennis Club was formed in 1885 on its present secluded, yet accessible site in our Conservation Area. The club is very active and welcomes new members. Their facilities include –
4 artificial grass tennis courts, all floodlit – 2 traditional plaster-walled squash courts, with viewing gallery – 1 mini-tennis court
Click HERE to view their website for full information about joining and other facilities on offer.
Craigmillar Park Golf Club
If you would like to play a golf course that is close to the centre of Edinburgh yet within the Green belt; with fantastic views down the coast of East Lothian and across the Firth to Fife; where you won’t hear the intrusive sounds of traffic and are likely to spot deer, then look no further than Craigmillar Park Golf Club. Visit our Website for details.
Craigmillar Conservation Area Listed Buildings
Our secretary has put together a comprehensive list of all the important buildings in our area.
MAYFIELD ROAD AND WEST MAYFIELD, MAYFIELD SALISBURY CHURCH, INCLUDING CHURCH HALL, GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS (Ref: 27119) – Category B building listed on 14/12/1970. Hippolyte J Blanc, 1876 1879 with later spire 1894 and 20th century extensions. Cruciform-plan, French Gothic church; 4 stage square plan tower with octagonal spire to NE, dominant nave with low side aisles, M gabled transepts, clerestory, polygonal apse and church hall adjoining to S.