Thursday, 21 April 2011

Barbecue signs are up

Map of barbecue sites
New signs showing barbecue sites are now in place on the Meadows.

Barbecues on the Meadows are actually banned in the bye laws.  However, as they have become so popular and as it would be almost impossible to police a continuing ban, the Council, after consultation with some local groups, has created these sites to minimise damage to the surface.


Tinrule said...

Dear Cllr Cameron,

When was the Meadows deignated a park. It is Common Good Land and as such the lighting of fires or camping or dropping litter or damaging the Meadows is a criminal offence. The walking of dogs is allowed but they should be on a lead unless they are working dogs. That goes back to the time when the Meadows was used as pasture after it was drained.

I believe that City of Edinburgh Councillors are Trustees of the Common Good Fund to which the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links are a part and therefore it is the duty of Councillors to uphold the law especially councillors who have experience of doing so. The lack of Park Rangers does not help.

Along with BBQs the Council allows events to camp on the Meadows damaging it in the process. These events should be charged not just for repairing the damage but a realistic commercial rent to cover improvements, maintenance and staffing needed on the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links. Better still they should not be allowed to camp there.

I will finish there but I could go on.

Download Trial BBQ Saites Map here.

Regards, David Rintoul.

Audrey J Simon said...

Councillor Rose - damage to the surface

It is well known by those of us who care about the Meadows & Bruntsfield Links that barbecues do cause so much damage to the grass and destruction to park fittings but there is another issue that has not been addressed by this Council and that is the affect of pollution/smoke screens for other park users.

In making their decision to further encourage/promote the use of barbecues on the Meadows & Bruntsfield Links, this Council is giving absolutely no consideration to the hundreds of other visitors who come to this area to play cricket, croquet, football, golf and tennis, or just to have a picnic, play in the playpark, sunbathe or walk the dog – do these people have to pursue their chosen activity through the pollution/smoke screens that is emitted by great numbers of burning barbecues. In the Meadows alone, fifty four barbecuing groups with multiple trays, all burning at the same time, were recorded in one sunny evening and now as the Council further encourages the barbecuing scene and the promotion of huge events on the Meadows I shudder to think of the scenes our future generations will witness in this most historic ‘Common Good Land’ area which deserves much better management.

Audrey Simon
A Friend of the Meadows & Bruntsfield Links
26 April 2011

Cameron Rose said...

Thanks for reading my blog and for the good work you do at Tollcross Online. Great source of local news.

I have no desire to quibble over whether the Meadows is a park or something else. Common usage is good enough. (BTW re your comments about the origins of the Meadows, did I mention that I used to stay in a house whose title deeds included boating rights on the Burgh Loch!!)

There is a dilemma between enforcing standards and popular usage. And some of the standards of yesteryear are not the standards of today. In many cases that is unfortunate. In other cases we need to move on.

For my part I think the results of the MABLAG discussions (Meadows and Brintsfield Links Advisory Group) are reasonable. The barbecue sites are an attempt to limit damage whilst accepting the reality that it is, with the legal framework in existance, almost impossible to stop barbecues. See also my response to Audrey. Indeed there is much more which could be said.

Cameron Rose said...


Thanks for dropping in to my blog. I appreciate your comments - though I don't agree with all of them.

See my comment above responding to Tinrule.

Better management is a worthy goal I agree with - though it is done within the parameters of the legal framework and finance which is made available for it.

I am well aware that prolonged exposure to smoke can have cancerous consequences. However, many people I have spoken to on the Meadows (who are not barbecuing) enjoy the smell of the smoke and the food wafting through the Meadows. And the area is, if I recall correctly, about 96 acres. On the one occasion you describe, that works out at just a little below one acre per barbecue.

So whilst almost all will agree with you and I that the damage to the grass is to be avoided, there are differing views about how best to deal with the overall issue of barbecues. MABLAG have been included in advising as that has been considered.

Its good to see so many people out there these past few days - enjoying the fantastic facility which we have as residents of the area. And it gives huge pleasure to see the huge numbers of visitors and tourists who choose to spend time in the stupendous environment that the Meadows.

As you are probably aware I am involved in other ways in trying to improve the Meadows. If not watch this blog over the coming weeks.

Best wishes.

Tinrule said...

Dear Cameron,

Will the Council be introducing Trial BBQ Site Maps for the rest of the 148 Parks in Edinburgh? Or are they going to slowly sell them all off.

Regards, David.

Cameron Rose said...


Other parks in Edinburgh are off topic for this Southside and Newington blog! :-)

Best wishes

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