Council insists it will return Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens to 'beautiful best' as post-Christmas mud bath pictures emerge

Residents express concern over the state of the attraction - but work is to begin on Monday.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 1:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 4:09 pm

The full extent of damage to East Princes Street Gardens in the aftermath of the Edinburgh Christmas celebrations has come to light.

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The attraction is now a visible mud bath, prompting outrage from residents.

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But City of Edinburgh Council has vowed to remedy the issue by starting repair works next week in a bid to restore the Gardens to their former glory.

Social media user @EdinburghPython posted a picture of the muddy Gardens on Twitter, asking: "If all of the gardens are like this (taken this morning) then how long will it take to restore? When will the public next enjoy the East Princes St Gdns?"

One resident replied: "A bl**dy mess. Of course, they'll "patch it up" as they've done before and it might look OK on the surface. However, it can't be good for the soil etc in the long term."

East Princes Street Gardens this morning. Picture: @EdinburghPython

City of Edinburgh Council posted earlier this week on Twitter that festive promoters Underbelly would be fully funding all repairs.

A post on Tuesday read: "This week, the first job of the year for our parks team will be to ensure the Gardens are returned to their beautiful best asap - without compromising on quality. Watch this space for further team updates when they begin on Monday.

"The reinstatement of the Gardens following Edinburgh’s Christmas is fully funded by Underbelly and carried out by us. Alongside this we are working with National Galleries Scotland to the complete the improvement works to the banking areas which began last year."

A spokeswoman for the council added: "The deconstruction of Edinburgh’s Christmas is currently underway and the ground has clearly been affected by the recent weather. Our parks team have done the walk round with the specialist turfing contractor to develop the plan of reconstruction and the cultivation process will begin next week.

"As ever, our team work to reinstate the gardens as soon as possible without compromising on quality.”

Lothian MSP Sarah Boyack (Labour) insisted such repairs 'should not be necessary'.

She added: "Rather than tear up the city landscape for profit, we should be working to find more suitable sites to host such enormous events. The Christmas celebrations have continued to increase in size, year on year. If these events continue to grow, just how much damage will there be next year? This is completely unacceptable.

“Underbelly may be covering the cost of the reinstatement works, but the real question is whether this should be necessary at all.”