Flood defences are currently being built along parts of the Water of Leith (you can read more here and here). Given that many houses by the river are threatened with flooding on an increasingly frequent basis, these defences are essential (though of course there is the argument that we wouldn't have these problems if we didn't build houses on floodplains). The City of Edinburgh Council has contracted Lagan Construction to do the work.
As a volunteer with the Water of Leith Conservation Trust, I know that the trust is working closely with the contractors to minimise disruption to the natural environment (one part of the defences work was delayed for example to allow a kingfisher pair to finish raising their family). I also know that the contractors have agreed to plant wildflower seeds and make other environmental improvements once the defences have been completed.
However, lots of trees are being cut down so that the defences can be built. These are old trees, home to lots of wildlife and beautiful additions to the urban landscape of Edinburgh. It is just heartbreaking to see these trees being lost gradually along the river between the Stockbridge and Leith areas of town. While I had been following the plans for the flood prevention scheme, I had no idea initially that so many trees would be affected. A public meeting has been called for later this week to outline the reasoning behind tree removal and the mitigation measures that will be put in place after the works are completed. You can read more about it here.
As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks that take you to websites where you can find out more.