Friday, 19 October 2018
Of beautiful sunrises, crimes against trees and prize winning haiku
But my mood was quickly shattered by finding out that the National Galleries of Scotland have destroyed 52 trees in East Princes Street Gardens. They have removed the trees to create an accessible pathway for people with disabilities and push chairs to access the lower galleries in their venue on the Mound, which is a laudable objective but one that surely could have been achieved without such wanton destruction of a lovely part of our city centre. The trees will apparently be replaced with around 20 new semi mature trees next spring, why not with 52 new semi mature trees?
This is just symptomatic of a city that is currently riding roughshod over the opinions and feelings of its residents. We get regular consultations on our thoughts on planning applications and what we want to see in Edinburgh in the future (see the current consulations here) but the council seem to ignore what everyone says. The festivals are expanding to take over the whole of the city centre (including West Princes Street Gardens) and there's something like one Air BnB for every 54 people in the city, driving up the prices of flats and houses and forcing people to move out of the city centre.
So who knows what Edinburgh will look like in the future? Hopefully there will be plenty of trees left.
Anyway, trees inspire poetry and I'm delighted to have a winning haiku in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Contest. There's a lot of lovely haiku there!