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A busy park in Midlothian has issued a warning to parents after a toddler swallowed a poisonous berry at the weekend.
Dalkeith Country Park says steps have now been taken to remove all berries on the yew hedge following the incident.
Karen Tomczynski: Surely the parents should have been watching the child to make sure they didn’t pick anything they shouldn’t. You can hardly blame the park for this happening. Now all the berries – which animals rely upon as a food source at this time of year – will be removed.
Roisin Black: It’s quite easy to turn your back for a second – that’s all it takes. No-one’s a perfect parent!
Lynne Crawford Knight: What’s happened to the human race in the last decade? I grew up in the 80s and we had it drummed into us not to eat any berries (except brambles) or even touch mushrooms and toadstools when we were out playing. We had much more freedom then, climbed trees, played chappie and survived! They didn’t cut down anything that might be remotely harmful.
Tania Lake: We were shoved out the house in the morning, told not to eat anything, and to come home when the street lamps came on. I was literally taught I could only eat raspberries. My parents showed me what they were. We used to go on picnics all over the countryside together, where we were taught what not to eat.
Ann Bonar: They should have a sign saying the berries are poisonous – not everyone knows.
Kate Heatly: This is madness. These berries will be supporting the animals and birds in the area. If you remove them you are possibly removing their main source of food, destroying another wild ecosystem. Humans need to take responsibility – if you go into a park or woodland area do not assume you can eat berries or mushrooms or whatever, just leave alone and watch what your children are doing.
Margaret Gillies: I wonder if the parents leave cigarettes and alcohol lying within their children's reach? Or perhaps they have leylandii or privet hedges or grow daffodils? Children have to be taught what is bad to put in their mouths.
Lesley Maciver Burt: When I was four, I went to a little private school in Eskbank. There was a yew tree right beside almost overhanging the sandpit that we played in. We were told that we must never eat the berries so we didn’t. I do wonder now who thought building a sandpit for tiny children under a yew tree was a good idea!
Alia Gilbert: When my son was a toddler we used to watch our kids at the park and tell them not to eat berries or do other things that might be dangerous. How else will they learn?
Karolina Pam: I’m not saying that the decision to remove the berries is a good one. All I’m saying that accidents happen to the best of parents because there are hundreds of dumb and dangerous things two-year old can do in 30 seconds while you're looking for a nappy or their bottle in your backpack.
Anne McLaren: Why the need to blame the parents? If you fell over I’d not have a go at you for not looking where you were going.
Debbie Davidson: Lots of berries, fungi, bark, seeds, trees and leaves are poisonous. It is all all part of learning.
Graham Mitchell: As a horticulturist I know it is actually safe to eat the red flesh of a yew berry and it is very sweet. The danger arises if the hard pip is eaten and it can cause extreme sickness/organ failure etc. Cutting off all the berries will now harm nature and the birds. More education and signage is needed to inform people.
Colin Mackay: Why stop at one type of berry? Might actually be safer to concrete over the whole park and set up a website to let people see nature safely.
Spaces for People
The Spaces for People scheme cost taxpayers around £26 million despite many of its measures being ripped up just months later, it has been revealed
Alan Brown: No, £26m is what they spent on it. The full cost is immeasurable – additional congestion, wasted travel hours, injuries to the public, and the environmental impact of the eventual disposal of tonnes of plastic haven't been taken into consideration.
Steve Mcmahon: £26m would have filled every pot hole in Edinburgh making the roads safer for everyone.
Lioslaith Rose: And still we are the pothole capital.