Natural Heritage Service, Nature Trail available by leaflet and QR code, Interpretation panels, Seating, Petanque piste, Wooden musical instrument sculptures
Nestled between the peaceful residential areas of Braidburn and Craiglockhart, Easter Craiglockhart Hill rises dramatically through cliff-faces and steeply wooded slopes to a plateau of rabbit-cropped turf, featuring views out over the Forth, the Trossachs, the Pentlands and East Lothian , as well as the fascinating city-scape all around. A short walk around the Nature Trail - devised and maintained by a group of local residents - reveals a surprising variety of habitats. The park has been awarded a Green Flag since 2009, in recognition of it being a quality greenspace.
History and heritage
The name Craiglockhart probably comes from either the Lockhart family, who owned the land in the 14th century, or is from the gaelic description of the area- Craig-Loch-ard (rocky hill by a loch).In 1773 the estate was sold to the Munro family. Alex Munro planted trees on Easter Craiglockhart and allowed residents to walk there. In 1917, the war poets, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Own were treated at the Craiglockhart Hydropath, built in 1880 (now Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart Campus).
Beside the Craiglockhart Sports Centre lies a large ornamental pond, dating from 1878, which drains into a carefully managed marsh - an unusual habitat in a city. This marsh is home to orchids, provides a hunting ground for herons and is a safe haven for smaller waterfowl to raise their broods. The slopes of the hill are clad in semi-natural woodland, that is, woodland planted at least 200 years ago which is so well-established that it has been colonised by plants, birds and animals of ancient woodland. A large meadow at the top of the Hill is another rare habitat for a city - unimproved grassland, home to small mammals and wild flowers.
Old red sandstone formed 400 million years ago under a shallow sea. Then 325 million years ago, volcanoes erupted. When the volcanoes cooled they formed the hard igneous rock which is Easter Craiglockhart Hill. You can see this rock as lava outcrops. The softer, green coloured rock on the edge of the hill is volcanic tuff, which is volcanic ash expelled when the volcano erupted. Later, earthquakes caused the rock to split leaving steep sided cliffs. 12,000 years ago a huge sheet of ice covered the area. When it melted, the valleys were cut leaving the hills you see today.
Access points can be found at Glenlockhart Road, Craiglockhart Sports Centre, Lockharton Crescent, Craighouse Road, Craiglea Place and disabled parking available at Craiglockhart Terrace. Can be reached by Lothian Bus numbers 10, 23, 27, 36, 38 & 45