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Glen Cousquer wrote:

Here is a brief resumé of some of my suggestions:

1) Promoting the involvement of all (legal and responsible) users of the park
Identify the different user groups and their needs.
Encourage these groups and manage any points of conflict.
A good example would be "dog walkers" - they will be keen to have a glass free park as this will reduce the risk of cuts to pads. This risk also exists for wildlife and children playing in the park.
Dogs, however, produce faeces and this "point of conflict" needs to be managed.

The local vets (Braid Vets) and petshops could be encouraged to sponsor "pooh bags", a bag dispenser and a pooh bin. These should be positioned at key points in the park. The local vets could also be encouraged to write an article on the risks posed by broken glass and the need to control it. This could then help promote a debate as to the most efficient ways of managing the problem.

2) Making the park safe at night time.
Reducing the amount of shady areas that can't be seen from the road and introducing lighting (possibly with movement sensors or timers) along the main paths would be a good idea.

How often do the Police check the Park and the toilets?

The base of trees could be fenced off in some way.

3) Networking with other groups.
Local Scout groups who are encouraged to undertake community service projects.
Local wildlife groups (RSPB, Scottish Wildlife Trust).
Local schools.

All these groups could be encouraged to take on some degree of ownership of the park. Local conservation groups could undertake the national garden bird survey in the park.

The John Muir Trust could be contacted and the idea of running John Muir Awards for the local schools, wildlife groups, scouts and youth organisations explored.

4) Ask local shops to take on an area of responsibility vis a vis the park. This could be something as simple as displaying a litter policy or litter posters. The presence of bins in the area should be highlighted and a request made to all clients that they dispose of their packaging responsibly. If clients are found to litter they will be refused service.

5) What links do you have with Edinburgh World Heritage?

6) Local accountancy firm(s) could be asked to help with establishing charitable status for the friends.

7) Request more information panels - the history of the park, the natural history, a park map showing all the bins, pooh bins, etc.

8) Involve the local ministers - a number of churches surround the park and are part of the community. Any friends announcements should / could be made in church and the congregation encouraged to become involved.

There, that's probably enough for now.

I hope that helps,
best wishes,

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