The hornbeam (a non-native species, first planted centuries ago as its wood was nice and hard and useful for building parts for the mills that used to line the banks of the river) is just starting to show its female catkins.
Some parts of the Water of Leith (though not the Dells) are undergoing building works at the moment for the new Flood Prevention Defences. Trees have been cut down in places to allow this work to go ahead. The council and the building contractors have promised that the banks will be regenerated after the work, but this will mean that the flood prevention barriers will be seeded with wildflowers, which is fine but the trees are very unlikely to come back. The Flood Defence work is seen as necessary to protect the housing along the banks of the river, but if planners had refused permission for housing to be built so close to the river then it wouldn't be necessary to damage the ecology of the riverbanks in this way.
Meanwhile down in England, though the Government seems for now to have abandoned its plans of selling the forests, several areas of ancient woodland are threatened by development:
The planned High Speed rail link between London and Birmingham would damage or destroy a number of areas of ancient woodland. High speed rail is seen as environmentally friendly because at least theoretically it diverts people away from flying, though personally I thought the normal speed rail link between London and Birmingham was already quick enough - why is society so obsessed with speed? Is it appropriate or necessary to destroy the environment to reduce travel times? You can read more about the proposed High Speed Rail Link and the damage it would do here. The page also includes a list of ways in which you can help campaign against this development.
It seems that a recommendation has been made to expand a quarry (despite independent research showing that existing quarries can supply enough stone) that threatens Oaken Wood, an ancient woodland in Kent. You can find out more about that here. STOP PRESS (10 May) this quarry has been given the go ahead so that is another piece of ancient woodland that will be seriously compromised.