Cousland Village Park all set for spring thanks to council and villagers

Wednesday January 17th 2024

cousland

Pictured in Cousland village park are from left to right: Councillor Peter Smaill, Councillor Bryan Pottinger, Cabinet Member with responsibility for parks Councillor Dianne Alexander, residents Mairghread Ellis, Dr Brian Ellis and Gordon Brown and James Kinch, Midlothian Council’s Land Resources Manager. Councillor Stuart McKenzie, who also contributed money from his council environmental ‘pot’, was unable to attend.


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Local volunteers in Cousland have planted more than 300 hedge saplings and 400 bulbs in the village park as part of a joint initiative between the community and Midlothian Council.

The venture, which cost a little under £3,000, also included fencing with gates and a new village sign.

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for open spaces, Councillor Dianne Alexander said: “Thanks to the local community and especially Dr Brian Ellis for bringing these much-needed improvements to Cousland Village Park, also known locally as the football field. This is a great example of how local communities can work with the council to achieve more attractive green spaces while at the same yielding benefits for both people and nature. I can’t wait to see it in full bloom in spring.”

Residents Dr Ellis and Gordon Brown contacted the council about improving the park and worked with the land and countryside services team to agree a funded proposal supported by individuals and organisations in the local community.

The three local ward councillors, Stuart McKenzie, Peter Smaill and Bryan Pottinger paid for the project with £1,000 from each of their environmental funds, small pots of council money local councillors can use for projects to benefit communities.

The council organised the new sign and fencing while volunteers planted six fruit trees, the hedges and bulbs. Much of the planting was done along the ‘wiggly path’ within the village park. With only one pavement in the village, the ’wiggly path’ is part of a wider community-led project to create safer green walking spaces, integrating the park walkway with the adjacent Smiddy paddock and organic plots, and onto the track by the smiddy and farm.

Dr Ellis said: “The feedback from residents has been excellent and the foot fall along the wiggly path has dramatically increased; children now cycle along the path, dog walkers find it more engaging and senior residents can walk with greater safety.”

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