Monday 8 July 2013


For the last day of our staycation, we decided to visit Craighouse, the old Napier University campus that is currently in limbo as the Friends of Craighouse battle to prevent it being inappropriately developed. The old historic university buildings (which started life as hospital buildings) are surrounded by meadowland and woodland which borders onto Craiglockart Hill.

On a hot sunny day like today, one of the nicest aspects of the site is that you can wander round the hot sunny meadow

then retreat into the shade of the woodland:

We were delighted to see three species of bumble bees enjoying the flowers in the meadows, including common carder bees and this red bottomed bumble bee:

There were also some hoverflies at the edge of Craiglockart Hill

It's a lovely area for a wander and it's shocking that Edinburgh Council seems to be bending over backwards to enable developers to build on the green areas of the site as well as the built areas. The council recently changed the conservation and nature protection status of the area, so that it now seems that there is no protection against inappropriate development. This is particularly bad news for the pipistrelle bats which live in the area and are a protected species.

The historic buildings on the site need to be developed to prevent them falling into decay and disprepair. The problem is that whereas a century ago they were ideal hospital buildings and more recently ideal university buildings, the needs of institutions like that have changed and it's likely that the buildings will ultimately be converted into housing or offices.

The issue is, how to do this without damaging the lovely area round about?

You can find out more about the issues from The Friends of Craighouse.

If you're in Edinburgh, do make a point of visiting Craighouse, while you still can. The developers seem intent on trying to keep people away from the buildings, but at the moment there seems to be full public access to the grounds from all entrances.

Thanks to the Friends of Craighouse for including my hoverfly photo in their recent round up of photos of the site. 

As ever, red text in this post contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


Little Miss Titch said...

beautiful Juliet let hope the work is done in keeping with the place.xx Rachel

The Weaver of Grass said...

Juliet, I sometimes think that planners are blind - they don't seem to understand the crassness of their proposed plans at all. I am also sure that they rarely, if ever, live in the area they intend these things to take place in. "Not in my backyard!" is as true as it ever was.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi speedy, yes, fingers crossed!

Weaver - the developers of this site come from the south of England, so yes you're right, but Edinburgh council have a lot to answer for, in encouraging inappropriate development

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Craighouse is indeed very beautiful. I sincerely hope they do not develop it...

Kat Mortensen said...

What a lovely place to spend a day of your staycation!
I enjoyed seeing the red-bottomed bee too.

I hope they can find a way to retain the integrity of the site.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful green area!

RG said...

Let's hope a strong coalition grows up to guide a long-lived, valued, sustainable redevelopment. I think it is a common problem.

Gerald (SK14) said...

hope they are able to prevent inappropriate develeopment.

sage said...

I didn't get there when I was in Edinburgh two years ago--but there was so much to see. It appears to be beautiful grounds as is much of the land in Scotland. We spent several days staying at New Lanark--Robert Ownen's utopia mills along the River Clyde--it is interesting how they redeveloped that site to keep it intact.