Pitch improvement in Roseburn Park begins

The improvement work on the two pitches on the west side of Roseburn Park commenced today. The contractor, Allgrass Ltd, has been commissioned by Murrayfield Wanderers using funding from the SRU to improve drainage.  First Allgrass must remove the turf; FoRP are pleased to observe that glysophate will not be used for this. The Wanderers have contributed to the funding to ensure that a mechanical removal (koroing) will be used instead. Care is also being taken to protect park trees.

The work will be completed in 30 weeks time – hopefully by the 11th October.

For more info, see our website post of August 2020.

We need small hand tools!

We are looking for donations of trowels, forks or dibbers that our volunteer taskforce can use for maintaining the park. Each year they plant flowers and bulbs; weed and mulch the borders, tubs and planters, and water the new trees during dry spells. There are always places for more volunteers, too!

If you can assist, please email Barbara at secretary@friendsofroseburnpark.org.uk 

Improving The Borders

Volunteers Ann Anderson, Isobel Sheppard and Barbara Knowles busy planting primulae and daffodils in November in the Triangle area of Roseburn Park, by Roseburn Crescent. An ongoing project, the border is already looking colourful.

Annual General Meeting 28th October at 7.30pm

We shall be holding our AGM on Wednesday 28th October at 7.30pm.

Because of COVID, rather than hold it at a physical location, we will be holding it online by Zoom.

This will allow you to hear what the Committee has to say about FoRP’s activities and give the chance to ask questions.

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to peter.n.gregson@outlook.com Nearer the AGM date we will send respondents the papers and the link to the meeting. It will just be case of clicking on the link in order to connect. Your computer will need at least a microphone and audio to allow you to hear- if you wish to be seen you can use the camera on your laptop as well.

We currently have a vacancy on the Committee and if you are interested in it, please let us know before the meeting.

Application for War Memorial Status for the Armoury

One of the observers on the FoRP Board has submitted an application for the Armoury to be given War Memorial status to the War Memorials Trust. The calls for the inscription of this Second World War era building as a War Memorial on the basis of its use an an ARP Control Centre building. We hope to get a decision in the next couple of months. If you’d like to read the application, please click here

Pitch Development in the West Side of the Park

The Council have agreed for Murrayfield Wanderers to have drainage at the rugby pitches improved in the park, using funding from the SRU at Murrayfield. They are providing £150,000 to pay for contractors to dig up the two rugby pitches, put in drainage, and then reinstate them. The investment is a planning condition imposed by the Council arising from the Edinburgh Rugby development on the training pitches at Murrayfield, where the SRU are erecting a new stadium.

The works would happen in two phases, with one pitch developed while the second remains playable. Once pitch one is complete the works would move to pitch two. At present there is drainage in the east side of the park but none in the west. The weather over the past couple of years has highlighted the vulnerabilities of the current poor drainage, with the grounds becoming boggy after heavy downpours. 

The works are scheduled to go out shortly to tender before commencing later in 2020. Access to and from the site will be via the existing access road at Roseburn Crescent.

The Council have given FoRP the tender documents in advance and asked us to circulate them. The specifications for the work can be downloaded here.MWRFC_Section B_Specification_DRAFT

The Conditions of the contract can be downloaded here MWRFC_Section A_Conditions_DRAFT

The location plan showing the extent of works can be downloaded here 101_Location Plan with more information on the layout of each pitch here 102_General Layout

Pitch construction details are here103_Pitch Construction Detail and drainage layout 104_Drainage Layout and drainage details 105_Drainage Details

The Bill of Quantities, with more details of what the work entails, is here MWRFC_Section C_BoQ_DRAFT

Please submit all queries, questions or comments on the proposed work to Graham Croucher in the Council’s Sports Development Team at Graham.Croucher@edinburgh.gov.uk  with a copy to Ritchie Fraser, the local Parks officer, at ritchie.fraser@edinburgh.gov.uk   and a copy to the Friends of Roseburn Park at secretary@friendsofroseburnpark.org.uk  . There is no deadline, but the sooner the better.

Friends of Roseburn Park comment: Whilst generally welcoming improvements to the  park’s amenity, we are concerned about plans to use glyphosate herbicide to clear the turf initially, pointing to the Council and SEPA’s restrictions. There are procedures which have to be followed if it is permissible to use it in a public park where people including small children are going to be walking/exercising nearby, dogs are able to exercise unleashed etc. We will request as an alternative that the turf be cut and removed.

We are also pointing out there’s a concrete slab under the flood wall that extends a few metres underneath the grass.  We are asking the Council to ensure that none of the trees planted are damaged during building works.  Also access to the site for trucks sits on the route to school taken by Roseburn Primary School pupils and we want assurances on safety. We also don’t believe the path there, with the sharp bend at the old playpark, is wide enough to get vehicles round.


Also in a much smaller development, the Council have given Murrayfields DAFs Cricket Club the green light to construct a third net lane along side the existing 2 they have already. All 3 will also be resurfaced. The 3rd lane is in response to the huge upsurge and success of their junior section and is subject to the DAFs raising the necessary funds.  The earliest the work would go ahead is spring 2021.

Watering new trees in dry May

Volunteers from Friends of Roseburn Park’s task force, led by our Secretary, Barbara Knowles in May 2020, watering the many new trees planted over the past couple of years:

The baby trees dry out quickly and need plenty of watering in dry periods. Note the COVID 2-metre distance is being followed!

Two Trees to be felled in the Park


Later this week, the Council will be removing two trees from the Park – they are very obvious as all their loose twigs/branches have been removed.  They are just two trunks and main limbs at present.  They are diseased; the bark has a fungal infection which could spread to the rest of the Cherry trees.  The whole avenue of Cherries is under stress, as the tarmac is too close to the trees.  Replacement trees will be funded by the Council.

Cafe Conversion Plans

From this..

.. to THIS 


We are fundraising to convert our disused toilet block into a charming snug cafe.

The block sits on the Water of Leith path, in the shadow of Murrayfield Stadium;
as a community café it will help support local jobs and volunteering
opportunities, while providing a warm and accessible space for local people
to meet up. Not only does the conversion have the backing of residents, it
has planning permission and the support of the Council who’ve agreed to a
lease. Income from the cafe will help to support the Friends’ other projects
to improve the amenity and quality of the Park.

We started crowdfunding in September 2019 on the same date as our Mural launch and since then we’ve raised £11,632 with our “buy a brick” scheme (with Gift Aid), which has now closed. We are presently submitting funding bids for the remaining cash and hope to have positive news by Xmas 2020.

To see our business plan for the cafe, click here.

See our

existing block floor plan and site location,

proposed downtakings,

existing elevations,

proposed floor plan and

proposed external elevation (revised)

Four New Trees for the Park

The West Edinburgh Neighbourhood Partnership (part of the Council) has funded 4 replacement trees on the west side of Roseburn park with a grant to FoRP of £586. We added £173 of our own and the local Parks budget put in £105, to meet the total cost of £864. We have got a walnut at either end and a large-leaved lime and black poplar in the middle. It’s very open to the wind here and we hope in due course this line of trees, which will line up with the rowans put in two years ago, will form a wind break.

This was because 8 new trees put here in 2017 were damaged by wind and/ or vandalised so badly they needed replacing. These were trees that were planted by the floodworks contractor, after 30 were felled due to the floodworks prevention programme. There were originally 9 planted at this location.  7 have been damaged/vandalised but our Council Trees and Woodlands Officer, reckons that the originals were planted too close together and were prone to wind blast.  

The Trees Officer advised that, given the prominence of the location, replacements need to be standard tree size with a triple stake and cage protection to ensure they get established. The stock grown at the Council nursery was too small for this so we would bought trees in.

The Trees were installed by Tom Dixon of TD Landscaping, the Council’s framework contractor, approved to undertake park tree planting. Volunteer planting was not advised as the ground conditions are quite tough. The flood prevention contractor used this area as their site compound and the ground here is highly compacted due to the heavy equipment and materials stored at this location.

Following our concerns, last November the Tree Officer tried to contact the Project Manager for the flood prevention works and discovered the trees were not covered by the contract for replacements, especially if vandalism involved. In January we met one of the Rangers and discussed budgets.  At that time it was suggested there might be scope for funding from monies left over in 2018/19 budget.  Subsequent discovery that further savings had been demanded in the Parks budget, so no funds were available from this source. In the long term, FoRP anticipates these new trees will become another reason to visit the park.