One of our community reporters has sent in a post to us describing a lovely walk along Lochside Gardens.
I took the Number 2 bus to the Gyle leaving it at the stop after Edinburgh Park Station.
It was a bright sunny afternoon in May, the young trees which line the landscaped alleys between the big office buildings wore fresh silken springtime leaves. It was lunchtime so the path was thronged with office workers jogging or just ambling to the local sandwich bar. I came to the tram stop and crossed to the top of Lochside Water Garden which extends for over half a mile along a frontage of office blocks as far as the Gyle Shopping Mall (most shoppers travelling there are unaware of this hidden oasis because you can’t see it from the bus). To the south open land gives a view of the Pentland Hills, on this day still wearing its winter coat of many colours – ochre, tan, moss green and the maroon of heather.
Lochside is a series of lagoons connected by waterfalls and the long ‘promenade’ on one bank features a display of sculpture portraits of Scottish writers including Hugh MacDiarmid and Sorley MacLean. The pillars bear panels giving a biography and a poem by each writer. Airliners flew low overhead, gaining height from take-off and bound for holiday destinations.
Office workers chilled out in the sun, sitting on benches or strolling with colleagues – this is a multi-ethnic international community of people who work in harmony.
The wide ponds have reed beds on the far side which were still withered and brown – the bulrushes wore tattered feathery plumes. In summer the open water is covered with bright green water lilies – just now they are brown and shrunken. I saw moorhens, ducks and swans as well as two resident herons who were basking in the sun, half-hidden by the screen of reeds. They have a plentiful food supply for the ponds are filled with scooting shoals of minnows. Beyond the reeds is a ‘riverbed’ garden featuring boulders and pebbles with riverbank plants and trees including ghostly white-limbed birch trees. Notices request you not to feed the birds because bread is bad for them and I could see no-one flouting this request.
Now I could see the “maw” (as in a shark’s jaws) of the Gyle Mall across the way and left my short experience of nature and fresh air behind, knowing that I will return soon.
G.Hendry/ May 2017.
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