Why damage to Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens is a lesson to us all – Helen Martin
We must learn to look after Princes Street Gardens more carefully, writes Helen Martin.
THE drainage overhaul in East Princes Street Gardens is being referred to as necessary because it became badly waterlogged due to long-running bad weather.
What a coincidence that it only happened after the place, a beautiful green public park known for its lush grass and floral areas, was taken over by a commercial Christmas market that impacted the soil, killed off the roots and turned it into a swamp? Oh, and along with that was the revamp of the Scottish National Gallery. Oh, and we lost the trees.
As Cliff Hague, chair of the Cockburn Association heritage watchdog, said: “People are angry about the damage that has been done and the disregard for their concerns about surrendering much loved green space to commercial purposes.”
Yes, Underbelly – and the council’s acceptance – wrecked it. There must be some legal justification to prevent any more construction in Princes Street Gardens. Any markets, ice-rinks, fairground tat, hideous lighting, should be banned or plopped somewhere else solid and undamageable... or even better forbid any of all that in Edinburgh to make it a beautiful, historical, classic and attractive Capital.
Nothing is as dominating at the moment as the coronavirus. But at least that may lead to a limit and restriction on tourism, and a drive for all visitors to enjoy themselves with local businesses such as bars, restaurants, theatres etc rather than invasive commercial organisations who care only about their profit and not a bit about our city, our residents and out beautiful landscapes.