Park life in Cuiken thanks to improvements

Wednesday June 12th 2019

From left to right are: Ross Hoggan, from the council’s roads service, P7 pupil and junior road safety officer Oran Ritson, Cllr John Hackett, cycling officer with the council Roslynn Newman, P6 pupil Courtney Clark, P6 pupil Braeden McGhee, P7 pupil and junior road safety officer Paula Stieghorst and James Kinch, from the council’s land and countryside service.

Written by Midlothian View reporter, Luke Jackson

Cyclists, wheelchair users, parents with pushchairs and locals have been flocking to Cuiken Glen, Penicuik, thanks to recent improvements by Midlothian Council.

The council’s land and countryside worked with the roads team to widen and asphalt the main path and install lighting so the area can be used more in evenings.

Woodland has been thinned to improve the biodiversity, create more light and give better visibility to make people feel safer.

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for open spaces, Councillor John Hackett said:

“This is a gorgeous, semi-natural woodland right in the heart of Penicuik. We knew it had the potential to offer much better opportunities for people to exercise and enjoy the natural environment.

“However, the paths were not in great order and were also encroached by dense woods.

“A huge well done to both teams for working together to tackle these issues. The end result is a lovely, safe, well-lit space. Council staff have noticed a massive increase in people using the area so we know the improvements are going down well and have achieved the desired effect.”

Councillor Hackett was joined by Cuiken Primary pupils and members of the council’s land and countryside and roads services to have a look at the upgraded space.

Funding for the £254,000 improvements came from Scottish Forestry Woodland In and Around Towns scheme, developer contributions and the council’s cycling, walking and safer streets budget.

Woodland officer with Scottish Forestry Liz Poulsom said: “We are very pleased to support the improvements of urban woodlands such as Cuiken Glen as they play a vital role in encouraging people to utilise their local green spaces.

“It’s hoped that through all this work to open up access and green up the Glen further, it will provide a welcoming woodland which can be enjoyed by all members of the local community for many years to come.”

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