Friday 30 March 2012

Shadows over the Future of Craighouse

Napier University recently sold Craighouse Campus to property developers, Mountgrange Real Estate Opportunity Fund. The developers now own the campus grounds; the woods and the hill itself.

The developers plan to turn the Grade-A listed buildings into flats (which is not necessarily a problem) and controversially to build 3-storey new housing across the orchard (a designated Open Green Space of Great Landscape Value in a Conservation Area), 3 to 4-storey blocks around the site and a very substantial new-build development across a large area of Open Green Space, mature woodland and Nature Conservation Site.

The proposed destruction of green space and woodland along with the pressure from 200 new households in terms of traffic, schools and carparking across this beautiful site led to the formation of Friends of Craighouse Grounds & Woods.

Crafty Green Boyfriend and I today wandered round Craighouse and the nearby Easter Craiglockart Hill. The woods were alive with birds, as well as the most common woodland birds we saw bullfinches and greenfinches and heard great spotted woodpeckers. I also took these photos of the area that stands to be impacted by the inappropriate development.

If you live in Edinburgh (or even if you don't!) and care about the future of this wonderful woodland area and historical site, please join Friends of Craighouse Grounds and Woods before we lose yet another green space that's vital for wildlife and people alike. You can see photos of the groups protests here. If you can, also go to the exhibition of the plans (short notice I know, sorry!):

■Friday 30 March. 2-8pm. Boroughmuir RFC, Meggetland Sports Pavilion
■Saturday 31 March. 10-4pm Old Craig

for Shadow Shot Sunday


eileeninmd said...

What a pretty place for a walking and to see the birds. Beautiful photos. Wonderful shadow shots. I hope you have a great weekend!

Ms Sparrow said...

The way developers keep nibbling away at green spaces makes me want to scream! This has to stop! When I moved to my condo in "Hidden Valley" there were acres of trees around me.
Since 1990, they have all been cut down and turned into housing. All that remains in the little wooded lot outside my bedroom window. How very, very grateful I am for that!

shoreacres said...

This makes me so sad. We are constantly fighting overbuilding here. It would be one thing if there was a desperate need for housing and commercial space, but much of the building is done "on spec", as they say - meant to be built and sold for a profit by speculators in realty.

Another form of overbuilding we suffer are the so-called "mega-mansions" that are going up everywhere. People purchase a lot containing a smaller home, bulldoze it, and then erect a huge house. Apart from the initial cost, there are the issues of heating and cooling, and so on.

I'm not one who wants to confine everyone to 800 square feet. That just isn't viable, especially for families with children or live-in elderly. Still, one wonders - are 3,000 square foot homes really necessary? I don't want government regulation of such - such a free-spirited American I am! - but I am very interested in finding ways to help people understand that smaller can be more enjoyable, less expensive and sometimes even more attractive!

Now - on another note, I just have to tell you about my marvelous sighting yesterday. We have killdeer, which seem to be much like your Golden Plover. I've never seen babies, and yesterday I saw four with their parents. They leave the nest almost immediately, so the babies are just funny - like little meatballs with legs. And they're fast! You can see them scooting around through the grass, barely taller than the clovers. It really is such fun to see something so new and unusual - without even trying!

RG said...

Man the barricades! Round up a LOT of people and make one of those human signs!

bunnits said...

Oh, no!! I certainly will be hoping for success in the efforts of Friends of Craigjouse Grounds and Woods.

Martin said...

Haven't these developers heard of 'brownfield' sites?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Martin - i have a horrible feeling that this site could be thought of as brownfield because of the existing buildings. But you're right of course.

Shoreacres - I think people are still greedy for large homes (though probably more in countries larger than the UK). Thanks for telling me about your killdeer chicks - how sweet!

Ms Sparrow - so sad to see the woodlands shrink isn't it?

Eileen - thanks!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Rabbits Guy - there have been some large scale demonsstrations and there will be more - you can find out about them on the Friends of Craighouse website, see the link in the blogpost!

Cuby said...

I despair at the way developers take over so many beautiful spaces. I am saddened as these spaces once gone are gone forever. The photos are of a beautiful space which you obviously love.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I recently went back to the village where I spent my childhood. When I lived there the village had a population of around three hundred. There were fields, woods, river banks - loads of places to be free and to play - lovely long lanes to go and look for birds' nests. Now the village is home to eighteen thousand people. So sad.

Howard of Belvedere Mountain Express said...

Sadly money talks in the world of planning. Public bodies (health and education) often own buildings and land which they no longer want, and inevitably they get sold off for housing – never housing for ordinary people, mind, only more housing for millionaires. In the Scottish council elections of 3 May the people of Edinburgh have the option of throwing out the lousy lot who run the city at the moment, but councils have limited grounds under which they are allowed to refuse permission, and they are fearful of doing so in case the developers lodge an appeal and the council then has to pay the legal costs. I’d be inclined to say enjoy Craighouse while you still can. Also make the most of the wonderful grounds of the Astley Ainslie Hospital before the NHS sells off the land for more housing for millionaires.

robin. said...

best of luck with this...hope it all turns out!! thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Kelly said...

What a beautiful building and grounds! Thank you for sharing it with us here.

Betty Manousos said...

i love the beautiful, inspiring, delightful british places!
absolutely beautiful shadow shots.
thanks so much for sharing.

i came across your site by accident and i just loved your blog!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Oh, I do hope you don't lose your green space!

Shadowy Wildflower

Gemma Wiseman said...

That seems to be the story the world over! Money means more than Nature! There always seem to be plans to plant new trees and create gardens around new projects - intending to offset the tree hugger whingers! But why plant new when old already exists in beautiful harmony!

This place seems so beautiful! No wonder you fight for it!