Thursday 3 December 2020

Do we Need to Destroy an area of Woodland to Create a Cyclepath?

Until yesterday, I had never heard of Sauchiebank Woods, but on reading this blogpost on the Trees of Edinburgh site I realised I've passed it often enough. I just hadn't realised you could visit this small woodland, located on the edge of an indistrial estate just up the road from where we live. 

The gate is easy to miss, there's no sign at all that this is a public greenspace and it doesn't look very welcoming 

However if you go through that gate and up the steep hill by the fence you come into a small area of scrubby woodland, located between the industrial estate and the railway. It's a pretty place

though you're never far from industry 

but then that makes it all the more valuable, a green space in the centre of an urban area. There are some beautiful oak trees, their fallen leaves decorating the ground 

While we were there we saw about six bullfinches plus blue tits, great tits and a range of other small birds. We also saw a very large (and camera shy) rabbit. 

Sadly this woodland is likely to not remain for much longer. Edinburgh Council plan to destroy pretty much the whole wood, removing all the trees so they can build a stretch of the Roseburn-Fountainbridge cycle link (planning application 20/03561/FUL).

Cyclepaths are obviously a good thing, we need more people to cycle rather than to drive, but cyclepaths should not be built at the expense of natural habitats like this. This blogpost on Edinburgh Trees points out that there are surely ways that the cyclepath could be built through the woods without destroying many trees. 

If you live in Edinburgh, particularly if you live in the Gorgie Dalry area or anywhere else along the proposed route of this cyclepath, please consider objecting to the proposal. Email with the subject line 'Late objection to 20/03561/FUL', to request that the proposals for Sauchiebank Wood be paused, and new proposals brought that enable the valuable woodland to be retained. Remember to include your postal address in your email! If possible, also please copy in your local Councillors who can help represent your concerns to the committee. You can find your Councillors by following this link and selecting your ward from the drop-down menu. If you click on Councillors' names you will find their email address.

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