Who wants to be Friends with Pilrig Park?



Great news!

This is your chance to make a real difference to Pilrig Park and become a ‘friend’:

A Friends of Pilrig Park group has been pulled together to help improve its facilities and make it a fantastic space for all of us to enjoy. Much has been said about the shortcomings of Pilrig Park, notably the lack of bins and benches, and the mystery trees, but If you think that with improved coordination with the Council and increased input from the community the park can be turned around and you are willing to lend a hand, then look no further.

If you would like to be involved in the group, put forward any suggestions for changes or improvements, or just be kept informed of our progress, please contact Sophie Brown at friendsofpilrigpark@gmail.com.

A discussion about a forthcoming public consultation on Pilrig Park will also be on the agenda at our next meeting on 25th February, so please join us if you can.

4 thoughts on “Who wants to be Friends with Pilrig Park?

  1. Its years since 2 benches were removed from the park in kneejerk reaction to a complaint from pilrig house and i, and others, have been asking for them to be reinstated, and for more benches, ever since. The park also needs more bins and path tidy up and woodland thinned to discourage rough sleepers. This park sorely neglected compared with all other parks in the area. Have had various discussions and attended meetings about the park but nothing ever gets done……! There has been talk of a public consultation for at least a year – will it ever happen?

    • We thought this merited a response, and clarification:

      1. The benches removed, were far from a ‘kneejerk reaction’ as a result of a complaint by Pilrig House, and we are sorry that you have deemed fit to even suggest this without checking your facts. It was a measure proposed by a councillor, at a meeting attended by various parties, inciuding, and approved by the local poiice (at Leith police station) – this was after several years’ of contunuing and increasing problems caused by large parties of youths, and drinkers, gathering around the benches at night, into the early hours of the morning – and particularly as no park wardens patrol at such hours. The parties present at the meeting, included councillors, residents of housing bordering the park, business owners in Pilrig Street, and the Sheltered Housing representaive, and one person from Pilrig House. The proposal was put forward, as it had been tested in other parks in Leith, where the residents who actually lived around the park were severly affected as a result of these drinkers and youths. The local neighbourhood and Leith police were having to constantly come to the park in the early hours to remove or break up fights. At the time of the proposal, one of the benches in question was smashed to pieces. It was seen as a potential solution to ‘disrupt’ the pattern of the parties involved – and had been successful in other areas where it had been tried out. The thinning out of the woodland was also agreed at the meeting, and was done to an extent. I hope this has made things 100% transparent – a small group of us who lived on the borders of the park often felt that we had to ‘fight’ alone to make this a better park for all – particularly women feeling safe to walk throught the park at night – and, so it us upsetting when remarks such as this are made which totally misrepresent what actually took place.

    • I am responding to the above comment for the sake of clarification:

      The decision to remove park benches was proposed by a councillor, at a meeting attended by local neighbourhood police, the Leith police sergeant in charge of Leith police station, Sheltered Housing representative, one person – myself, from Pilrig House, and representing business owners in Pilrig St, and other residents who live on the actual borders of Pilrig Park. It was put forward as a potential solution, to disrupt the pattern of large groups of aggressive drinkers and gangs of youths who had been increasingly gathering on the main pathway of Pilrig Park late at night, and into the early hours, when no park warden patrols the park – several fights had also broken out in the early hours, and were becoming a regular occurrence. The councillor who proposed it, said that it had worked in various other parks where they had had to resort to this action – and, it is also worth noting that, at the time of the meeting, one of the park benches was smashed to pieces, and another had been burnt. The decision was taken, after several years’ of continuing and increasing harassment by these groups – and after the police were being called out several times a week. It also followed many meetings of residents and representatives of those who lived around the park, and many who owned B&Bs on Pilrig St, and whose lives were being made a misery. It was certainly not a ‘kneejerk reaction’ and most definitely was not at the suggestion of ‘Pilrig House. It would be helpful to get your facts before publishing such a statement, which is misleading to say the least. Given that many of us at times felt we were ‘fighting’ to make the park a safer and more peaceful place for all, especially women walking in the park at night-time, it is upsetting to be misrepresented in this way. I hope this had helped make the issue 100% transparent.

  2. PS I should also have added, that at the above meeting mentioned, it was agreed that the bushes would be thinned, to deter rough sleepers, which was done – but, no doubt needs pressure brought to bear to be done again. It is wonderful if the ‘friends of Pilrig Park’ will bring this about, and will prove effective, after years of battling away – sometimes a small number of us.

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