Wester Craiglockhart Hill and Little France Park are both set to become nature reserves after plans were approved by the Culture and Communities Committee today (Tuesday 26 January).
A Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is an area of land declared by a local authority because of its special nature interest and/or educational value. It is hoped the status, which is already held by seven sites across the Capital, will add more weight to funding bids and offer extra protection from future development.
The two sites, which cover over 55 hectares of land between them, are owned and run by the Council and managed by the Parks, Greenspace and Cemeteries Service in partnership with Friends of Parks groups and other partner organisations.
Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener said:
Edinburgh is already a wonderfully green city and we want to ensure it remains that way for generations to come.
There are many benefits that come with designating these parks as LNRs and there is no doubt that the ongoing pandemic has reinforced how vital access to greenspaces is to us all. The declaration of these as LNRs means that they are not just protected but they will be managed and improved with the conservation of nature as a priority.
Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan, Culture and Communities Vice Convener said:
I’m delighted that we are able to designate these two new sites as local nature reserves. These are areas of natural beauty, rich in wildlife habitats and eco systems, and it is important that we recognise these and look after them for everyone to enjoy.
We will be working closely with a range of partners and enthusiastic friends groups to preserve these important areas for the benefit of our future generations.”
The selection and designation of LNRs is in accordance with the Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan. The Scottish Biodiversity Duty section of the plan contains an action to ‘Continue a programme of developing and designating Local Sites’.