ELGT welcome visitors to new Quarry Park Wetland

Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) will welcome local school children to get first official use of a new boardwalk and help add plants around the wetland area in Hailes Quarry Park this Friday, 24 November 2017, 9.30am -10.30am.

Hailes Quarry Park has long had a problem area of poor drainage, but by working with the park steering group a solution was found which transformed the site into a wetland area to become home to wetland plants and wildlife. The problem dates back to the park’s days as a quarry which closed due to flooding before being filled in, capped in clay and then turned into a park. This area is at the lowest point of the park which floods regularly and is damp and boggy for most of the year, which made it out of bounds for park users and difficult to mow and look after.

Thanks to funding from Postcode Local Trust and the City of Edinburgh Council, ELGT has been able to develop the wetland area at Hailes Quarry Park. We’ve improved access to the area by building a boardwalk and pond dipping platform. Groups of people will now be able to visit the park to experience and learn about nature.

An extensive programme of planting is planned for the next few months, involving a range of wetland plant species.  This will create a habitat which, once established, will become home to birds and even amphibians as well as a host of native wetland plants. As the park is situated next to the Union Canal, the wetland area will be a valuable part of the green corridor either side of the towpath and the banks of the canal.

Transport and Environment Vice Convener, Councillor Karen Doran, said:

This innovative solution will not only attract a new range of wildlife to the park, but will also encourage more people to visit and enjoy Hailes Quarry Park. By making the most of an otherwise unusable area, improvements will let the public get closer to nature while enhancing the park’s amenity.

Charlie Cumming, Edinburgh & Lothian’s Greenspace Trust, Chief Executive, said:

We are delighted to have received funding from Postcode Local Trust as well as the players of People’s Postcode Lottery to make this improvement. We would also like to thank the teams of volunteers and the City of Edinburgh Council for their ongoing support. The boardwalk will enable the local community to access the wetland area and get up close to nature. It will encourage more people to visit the park from all over the city. It also adds to the Edinburgh Living Landscape Initiative by improving the local biodiversity.

Hailes Quarry Park Steering Group Member, said:

It is great to see the wetland improvements in the park that will encourage the local people to explore the park more. We are grateful for the support from partner agencies who continue to invest in the park.

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