Last week, we wrote about about a proposal to build a block of flats on a plot of land by the Water of Leith by between West Bowling Green Street and the Water of Leith. We’ve recevied several comments from locals concerned about a number of aspects of the proposals – many mentioning that the plan could see one of the last small pockets of wild land in Leith landscaped.
The final wording of a Greener Leith objection to this proposal is on the agenda for our meeting on Tuesday. In the meantime, local resident Izi Coonagh has sent us this guest post, where she explains what this green space means to her. She also sent us the photos above – highlighting the range of biodiversity that is present on this site.
By the Water of Leith, as the footpath follows the river round as it curves, then turns up toward West Bowling Green St, there is a wee wild patch of land. You know the spot where the path leaves the river and goes up by the substation, where some folk dump their rubbish.
This whole section of land is under threat. Plans to build flats here are with the planning department now. I was really shocked when I heard, I presumed building on green land would be against council policy.This habitat will cleared completely if these plans go ahead.
I have lived nearby for the past 11 years, I regularly walk by and stop at this wee patch. It’s one of the last wild patches of land left in Leith and it’s a wee haven for many animals, plants & locals alike. I believe there is something special about a wild patch of land.
Yes, the fact that is it supports a lot of wildlife, most notably the kingfisher that I’ve watched diving at this spot often & friends have been lucky enough to see the otter which no doubt relies on this little wooded patch for cover.
The native flowering plants here, especially the Blackthorn trees blooming in winter are beautiful, much appreciated and rare in this area. There is no other space like this in Leith – I love it.
Yes there’s rubbish & dog dirt but ask many of the locals and they will tell you, they have always been able to see past some rubbish, either way the building of the large new development ( already approved ) on the old industrial site here, will, I reckon solve the problem of dumping beside this ground.
There is currently a project underway to plant more native wild flowers along this stretch of the river, funding has been sought to do more.
There have also been regular clear up days organised by local community group, friends of the Water of Leith Basin and the Water of Leith conservation trust.
With a little love and effort this wee patch could be even more beautiful and could become a great resource for local schools, so local school children could come & see native plants & wild flowers, spot wildlife and learn about nature, in their own back yard.
There has been little or no investment in this sort of project in Leith. I believe Leith could really do with holding on to and maintaining the precious green spaces we have. The positive impact of protecting this green space, on the local community and future generations has the potential to be huge.
This site is important not just for the role this bio-diverse spot plays in supporting local wildlife & native plants but also for the people of Leith who also need green space.
The local community are ready and willing to to do more. Please take the time to support our efforts by opposing the plans to build on this site. Any objections to the destruction of this green space must be submitted in writing to [email protected] before the 8th of Feb
If anyone would like to do more to help, either by clearing up the space a bit or spreading the word you can contact me at [email protected]
All photos have been taken of wild flowers from this threatened site.
Written by Izi Coonagh. Photos supplied by Izi Coonagh.
You can find out more about the West Bowling Green Flats proposal here.