Ticks have been reported in the park. Their numbers are increasing throughout the UK and they are now prevalent in city parks including, it would seem, this one. They are ineradicable and sadly it looks as though we will have to learn to live with them. The price is vigilance.
If taking part in weeding sessions or clean ups when you are likely to be in among grasses and weeds and under trees – ticks’ habitat – it will be a good idea to dress protectively. Wellies with trousers tucked in are ideal (certainly not bare feet in sandals) and long sleeves. The Friends of the Park will provide gloves, which we can line with disposable gloves for hygiene, but if you have gloves, bring your own. Check skin and clothing for ticks when you return home and deal with any ticks you may have picked up as advised in the Public Health England blog above.
Weeding session on Sunday 18th July at 3pm. We will provide hand sanitiser and disposable gloves, forks, hand forks and trowels (all sanitised) and disposable gloves; but ideally, if you have your own tools and gloves bring them with you. The session will be weather dependent (use your judgement, but we do tend to go ahead unless it is actually raining)
Clean up on Sunday 25th at 3pm. Again we will provide hand sanitiser and disposable gloves and will sanitise litter picks.
AGM This will be held on Zoom on Tuesday 7th September at 7.30 pm. Further details nearer the time.
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Developers Ediston have lodged another planning application for the site bordering the park. They propose constructing flats instead of a hotel on the one of the Dundas Street stretches of the site. All told, if this application receives consent, a further 80+ properties will be added to the number already granted consent, bringing the total number of households up to 435. Extrapolating from the numbers of bedrooms which the development overall would then provide this could add up to a further thousand new residents to the neighbourhood. An unacceptable level of pressure on all local amenities would ensue and the Friends of the Park are concerned that the park, which is on the doorstep of all these new flats, which is already heavily used and is also smaller for this part of town than the Council’s own criteria recommend, could suffer degradation from overuse.
We are desperately seeking to recruit new committee members. The park is currently facing years of disruption as construction of a large new mixed development starts up directly on the boundary.
It has never been more in need of the protection of a watchful, alert body of park users.
If you care about the park do think of joining us and taking an active role.
You could be a user of social media and boost the profile of the park.
You could be involved in ongoing interactions with the Council and /or the developers.
Or you could be concerned with daily life in the park, be the parent of a child who plays in the park, a gardener, a litter picker, a dog walker, a picnicker, a nature lover, or just somebody who likes to sit in the sun.
It doesn’t need to be a burdensome role. Tasks can be shared.
More Information will be gladly dispensed by the Secretary, Judy Conn, who is keen to hear from anyone interested.
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Unfortunately, on 17th February 2021 the Council’s Development Management Sub-Committee granted consent by seven votes to four to all three planning applications which are going to affect the the park so adversely – 20/03034/FUL, 20/03655/FUL and 20/03661/CON (all still available for viewing on the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning website).
Planning legislation permits a Council to impose an obligation on developers, in this case Ediston Orion Capital Managers, to compensate a community, in this case the park, for the damaging impact construction of the permitted development may have on the local environment. £48,373.90 is to be allocated for improvements to the park, such as some (sadly minimal it seems) compensatory planting of trees and re-surfacing of paths and £75,055.15 for play park improvements. The Friends will be pressing for full involvement in all discussions between Parks officers and the developers.
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Impact of Coronavirus on Activities in the Park – March 2020
Sadly the Friends of the Park are having to draw in their horns for the foreseeable future, so no gardening sessions or clean-ups are planned. We hope we can pick up tools again in the autumn. In the meantime we urge all park users to take care and keep safe.
The cumbersome title assumed by the Friends of King George V and Scotland Yard Parks reflects the fact that the official name of the park is the King George V Park, Eyre Place, whereas locally and unofficially it is known as Scotland Yard. The official name indicates that the western section of the park came into being in the early post war years as a King George V Memorial Playing Field, with the National Playing Fields Association (now Fields in Trust) as its guardian trustees. The local name points to the origins of the eastern section which is the site of the former Scotland Street Goods Yard.
A concerted community effort in the early 1980s led to a complete reconfiguration and regeneration programme being undertaken by the then City of Edinburgh District Council and a derelict space was transformed. However, subsequent years of neglect took their toll and by 2002 the park had become run down once again. At this point a group of concerned local residents formed the Friends, with the aim of working with the City of Edinburgh Council to improve the appearance of the park and the facilities it offered people of all ages.