3rd March 2014 Meeting Notes

Friends of Rocheid Path, (FORP)

Minutes of the Meeting of The Friends of Rocheid Path, held Monday 3rd March 2014 at Stockbridge Library

Present: Ian Hooper(IH); Josie Inwood(JI); Ian Cunningham(IC); Gus Schwarz(GS); Rose Pipes(RP); Pam Barnes(PB); Pat Bryden(PBR); Maureen Hodge(MH); Ann Serjeantson(AS); Caro Tulloch(CT); Paula Bushell(PBu); Rosemary Ellison(RE); Stephen Jones(SJ); Joan Beattie(JB); Be Morris(BM);

1. Apologies David Gow

2. Minutes of last meeting approved.

Any matters arising will be covered in these minutes.

3. Progress Report


IH summarised progress since the last meeting.

Tree surgery has been carried out along the path, removing some trees and tidying up trees damaged in the high winds.

We need to keep up pressure on the Council to secure satisfactory re-instatement of the triangle and Arboretum Bank. The railings have been installed and although some planting has been done, it is not what we agreed and some of it will have to be redone. The ground prep has been unsatisfactory, the 2 lime trees planted are to be removed and replaced with something more suitable. RE felt that the area would benefit from the talents of a garden designer, which of course is true, but we know there is no money for that. The best we can hope for is that CEC implement the plans drawn up and agreed, for grass, fruit trees, under-planting of bulbs, and benches for members of the public to sit and enjoy the space.

The residents of Reid Terrace are concerned about the benches that have been placed on the triangle. They do not like the idea of people sitting looking across at their houses and would like the benches moved. IC expressed surprise that anyone could see into houses from across the river but residents adamant that people were doing just that. There was a wide ranging discussion about the area being a public space and FRP’s intentions when trying to open up the space and encourage people to use it. IH agreed that some compromise was necessary in order to meet concerns of the residents. They are to identify an acceptable position and when the work is done to replant the area, the benches could be moved.

The railings at West (Arboretum Road) entrance are still to be repaired and CEC have agreed to include a gate to give access to the informal path joining the RP to the Arboretum triangle.

The plans to install steps and open up access to the dell area are in abeyance. There have been concerns from Colonies residents who have bad memories of the area being used as a gathering place for teenagers causing trouble, lobbing missiles across the river, setting fires and generally behaving badly. SJ asked what were FRP’s intentions on opening up access to the dell area. We know that the fence was erected to discourage (but not prevent) members of the public using the dell area. Some Friends would like to see the fence removed. CEC have suggested a fuller consultation including residents, the parks dept and Scottish Police before proceeding. SJ attended tonight’s meeting to express residents concerns on this issue and was keen that local residents be included and this was agreed.


4. Website

The website has been created, thanks to Gaye Cleary. It is little more than front page at the moment, but Gaye is looking for content. Anyone out there who has ideas about what we should have on it should get in touch. We will put on meeting minutes, dates for meetings and volunteer sessions and links to organisations like Friends of Inverleith Park, Stockbridge and Inverleith community Council and the Water of Leith Walkway Trust.

RP suggested getting having the history of the path, perhaps using the text contained on the Storyboard erected by CEC recently.

Jamie Primrose, the Scottish Contemporary Artist, has generously allowed us to use one of his paintings on the website. Take a look, it’s beautiful.

We still have not satisfactorily resolved the issue of payment for the domain


5. Volunteering

We have had one volunteer session since the last meeting, concentrating on cutting back saplings in the grassy area at the West end of the path. A huge pile of debris still sits there, awaiting collection by the council or perhaps we could burn it later in the year. The volunteers felt that it was too windy to burn the rubbish on the day we were working.Going forward, we will continue to keep the saplings at bay and tackle more of the laurel at the East end. Bulb planting and litter picking are also on the list. A group of young volunteers has done some great work on the path, clearing the ivy that is encroaching from the bank. EA pupils keen to join us again once the days get a bit longer. Volunteer days help to raise the profile of the friends. People using the path see what we are doing and stop to talk. A CEC presence on the volunteer force would be greatly appreciated.

The next session is Sunday 23rd March, 10:00 till 14:00

There is no shortage of work to be done. If you are reading this and think you’d like to get involved, please do. It really is very satisfying work and extremely worthwhile.


RBG Edinburgh is replacing its stock of wooden benches with metal ones. The wooden benches can be had for a donation.

6 .Date of next meeting              Monday 9th June, 6:30 Stockbridge Library.

All Friends welcome to attend these meetings.