Poultry farm now a city park

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IT BEGAN life as Hen City – now it’s set to become the Capital’s first 21st-century park.

Environment bosses have revealed revamped playing fields next to the flagship Drumbrae daycare centre will be named Buttercup Farm Park – after the area’s mammoth 1920s poultry factory which was one of the largest in the world, producing 100,000 eggs a day.

Buttercup Farm will be Edinburgh’s first officially created green space since Craigmillar Castle Park was designated at the turn of the millennium.

The park could also have an outdoor gym after a new application for planning permission and funding was submitted.

City parks manager David Jamieson said: “We are working to make Drumbrae fields a publicly accessible green space again.”

Mr Jamieson said Buttercup Farm Park would boast a range of state-of-the-art features.

“We will establish it as a modern community facility,” he said. “There will be play areas, a new ball court, footpaths, seating.

“We have also suggested it could be the site for an outdoor gym, although we are still waiting for confirmation of funding. The gym would have cross trainers and other fitness machines, robust enough to function in all weather,”

If approved, the Drumbrae outdoor gym would be the Capital’s second after a similar facility opened in Hailes Quarry Park in Wester Hailes earlier this year.

Mr Jamieson said a consultation exercise revealed overwhelming local support for naming the new park after Edinburgh entrepreneur Andrew Ewing’s huge Buttercup Farm poultry complex built in 1922 on 86 acres of farmland in the city’s western outskirts.

Mr Ewing, a Christian, was known for donating all eggs laid on Sunday to local hospitals and charities. The farm produced more than 100,000 eggs a day, meaning over five million were given away a year.

Plans for the new park were welcomed by green space campaigners and local residents.

Parks fundraiser Liz Stewart, of Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, said: ”This is fantastic news and great use of an open space.

“A new gym would be something that appeals to a wider audience. Open-air gyms are well-used in other parts of the UK and the world, and I know the first one opened at Hailes Quarry has been very popular.”

Drumbrae Community Council chair Reginald Kingman said: “Anything that improves sport and leisure facilities here is welcome.”

‘Hen city’ in corstorphine

For its first 18 years, the Buttercup Dairy Company imported most of its eggs from Denmark and Poland.

However, Andrew Ewing set up his own large-scale poultry farm, banking on the appeal to local customers that every egg would be stamped “Buttercup Poultry Farm – New Laid”.

In November 1922 the Buttercup Dairy Company bought 86 acres of farmland in Corstorphine, on the western outskirts of Edinburgh, to develop a “state-of-the art” poultry farm (pictured above).

By 1928, the farm had the capacity to accommodate 200,000 laying hens, making it one of the largest poultry farms in the world – known as “Hen City”.