Monday, 28 January 2019

Save Meadowbank Trees

(photo from Wikipedia)

The beautiful trees that stand around Meadowbank Stadium have long been threatened with the chop, since the council in it's wisdom decided that the world class Meadowbank Sports Stadium needed to be replaced by a smaller (and therefore not world class) stadium with the rest of the land being sold off for development and the trees at the front of the stadium being destroyed (some of the trees at the back and side of the stadium will remain, though the stand of trees at the back looks as though it will be thinned out to 'prevent the trees shading the new buildings' which is nonsense as those new buildings face north and will be in shade anyway).

Having seen the plans for the proposed development  it is not clear that the trees need to be removed to allow the development to go ahead, which makes it even worse!

 Urban trees provide many benefits to urban communities, from cooling the environment and saving energy, to providing health benefits and building resilience against floods and storms. They should be nurtured and celebrated not destroyed for the sake of development. There's a good article about the benefits of urban trees here.

Bizzarely, City of Edinburgh council is carrying out a consulation on their new Physical Activity and Sports Strategy ( only after demolition has started on the Meadowbank site. I'm sure many people in the city, if consulted would have said that a world class stadium at Meadowbank would be a good part of the city's sports offer. 
If we want a healthy city then we need top quality sports venues (which I am not convinced the new Meadowbank will provide, being as it will be smaller without space for a number of the sports clubs that currently are based there) but we also need trees.

The City of Edinburgh in its own Local Development Plan has said (CDC LDP Policy ENV 12 Trees): 'Development will not be permitted if likely to have a damaging impact on a tree protected by a tree preservation order or any other tree or woodland worthy of retention unless necessary for good arboricultural reasons.' I do not believe there are good arboricultural reasons for removing these trees which are a beautiful green landmark in a very built up area of town and offer nest sites for birds and the health benefits of trees that include reducing the effects if pollution and limiting the heat island effect of built up areas.

What can you do to help? 

If you live or work in Edinburgh please write to your local Edinburgh councillor (if you don't live in the Meadowbank Ward it doesn't matter, Meadowbank is a city wide resource and your local councillor should listen to you on this issue).

Attend one of the drop in events:

5-7.30pm, Wednesday 30 January at Meadowbank Church, 83 London Road.

12.30 - 3pm, Friday 1 February at Willowbrae Church Centre, 1a Willowbrae Road

12.30 - 3pm, Satuday 9 February at Craignetinney Community Hall, 9 Loaning Road.

If you attend the drop in event, please tell the developers that you think all the trees around the stadium should stay and that you cannot see why any of them need to be removed in order to proceed with development.

Join the Save Meadowbank Trees Facebook group. If you join the facebook group you can find out how to get more involved in the actual group.

Follow @MeadowbankTrees on Twitter.

Share the groups updates on social media.


eileeninmd said...


I hope the trees can be saved. It is good you are so involved.

Simon Holledge said...

Thank you for campaigning to save the trees. Let's hope the message gets across to the City Of Edinburgh councillors.

Lowcarb team member said...

I hope the trees can be saved.

All the best Jan

Stephanie Jane said...

What a short-sighted move on the council's part :-(
Or is starting the work before the consultation a cynical ploy to enable them to carry on regardless of the consultation outcome because so much destruction will have already occurred?

Diane said...

the fact that there are rare Wheatley Elm trees on the site should mean they are protected,it's a species of which very few are left in the world and I believe I read losing the 1s at Meadowbank will mean losing 6% of the number left worldwide !!! Edinburgh Council are out for money, not the interests of the people of Edinburgh, many are against the cutting down of trees, why, because they provide us with clean air, provide wildlife a home, can help stop flooding and give shade to us in hot weather, but nope, they aren't money spinners, all about greed, greed,greed !!!! Shame on Edinburgh Coulcil !! Get the TV and papers involved,after the outcry when over 50 beautiful trees in Prices St Gardens were cut down for no good reason TV and papers might be interested

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Diane, thanks for your comment, according to a couple of professional botanists I spoke to they don't see the Wheatley elms as being anything special and when I asked them why do so many people think they're rare and special they couldn't (or wouldn't) say. It's very strange. The TV and newspapers were involved at the 'Say Goodbye to the Trees' event a few weeks ago. They're still (as far as I know) in the loop on developments.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Stephanie Jane - Edinburgh council is remowned for starting work before consultation results can possibly have been assessed.