Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park warden patrols target litter louts

Melanie Aitken and Lucy Manning from the Friends of Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park tidy up the park. Picture: Toby Williams

Melanie Aitken and Lucy Manning from the Friends of Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park tidy up the park. Picture: Toby Williams

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A CITY park threatened with losing its Green Flag status is to get regular warden patrols to help beat the litter louts.

Council chiefs agreed to the move after Keep Scotland Beautiful warned Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park was at risk of having the quality benchmark removed.

There will be three patrols a week by environmental wardens, all year round, at various times during the week.

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Extra signage has also been installed and further signs are to be put up warning against dog fouling and littering.

Sixteen staff from Standard Life joined council staff, park rangers and environmental wardens at the park yesterday for a “corporate clean-up”.

The five-hour blitz on litter in the park collected about 40 bags of rubbish – and a wardrobe.

SEE ALSO: Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park fights to keep Green Flag

Donald Anderson, chair of the Friends of Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park, said: “It was a great day, we’re extremely grateful to the people from Standard Life and the council.

“This is the second event we have had this month. It will make a huge difference to give the park a big spring clean, getting rid of the litter, and it helps us maintain it throughout the year.

“This is a good time of year to do it because the foliage is quite low and so you can see the litter more easily.

“Away back, the park had recurring problems with antisocial behaviour, cars being abandoned and burned.

“It’s a lot better than it was, but we want it to be better still. It’s a lovely green space, it’s a nature reserve with protected species like kingfishers and otters – people love it. There’s no way are we surrendering our Green Flag,”

He said the Friends group and the council were working closely together to improve the park.

“We have a commitment from the council to have the wardens in the park on a regular basis as well which is fantastic.

“People will understand that if they are dropping litter or not clearing up after their dog, there’s a fair chance they will be fined.

“And the wardens will be able to pick up on any issues that arise because they will be in the park regularly.”

He said there had been four £200 fines imposed recently for littering.

“There have been evening patrols as well. And they have a CCTV camera on their van now, which will help identify people.

Mr Anderson said more corporate clean-ups were planned throughout the year.

Liberton/Gilmerton Labour councillor Keith Robson praised yesterday’s blitz.

“This has made a massive contribution to the park retaining its Green Flag status,” he said.

“The park is of immense importance to the local community. It is valuable space for people to walk their dogs and an opportunity for families to get out and have fun together - we taught our son to ride his bike here.

“Everyone has done a great job - and we had beautiful sunshine, which always helps.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com