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'Anticipatory' Core Path Welcomed for Cuthill Park

Cuthill Park Action Group Delighted at Good News

The Cuthill Park Action Group's third Open Consultation on April 24th at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg had a double helping of good news.

The first came from the Prestongrange Bowling Club which lies to the north. They confirmed that they were wholly committed to its restoration and keen to be actively involved in the development of the final plans. They favoured the immediate cutting of the meadow grass at the foot of the park and plans for rockery and wild flower landscaping at the southern heights.

The second piece of good news was seen as more subtle but truly most welcome. It was the 'anticipatory' proposal that Cuthill Park should be an integral element of the county's 'Core Paths' scheme - providing a new walk around the south of the Bowling Club to the Heritage Museum. The Action Group was pleased that East Lothian Council had recognised that the Park and the Prestongrange area in general had much to offer the wider community.

Fourth Consultation will be at the Bowling Club in early June

The Consultation unanimously agreed that the Action Group should now proceed to finalise its proposals for presentation to the Community Council and the newly elected Councillors for East Lothian in early June. And Prestongrange Bowling Club volunteered to host that next meeting.

The proposals will not only appear on paper but be depicted in a series of mural paintings by Arts Festival members created during the Three Harbours Festival under the leadership of Tom Ewing, a local resident and the artist who painted the existing Witch mural in Cuthill Park. They will include the historical perspective but also the ambitions for the Core Path, the wild flower/ rockery landscaping, the children's and youngsters play areas, and the amphitheatre for presentations including the annual 'Murals Fest and Cow Painting'. And finally, they will include significant proposals for safe access to and from the park across Prestongrange Road for children and adults alike.

The Action Group was at pains to emphasise it in no way believed it had a monopoly of good ideas for the park, or even that the local residents at large did. What it had was a determination that their traditional park for their side of town should be back in use. If the community's elected leaders needed a wee bit of encouragement to get the park towards the top of their own action agenda, so be it.

Working with the Community Council

The Consultation agreed that they very much wished to continue working with the Community Council to get the park back in action again. Quite simply everyone felt it had been neglected [or maybe overlooked] for far too long. The good ideas that had been posted by Stuart Pryde on the Scottish Executive's website for Best National Examples of Biodiversity way back in 2004 had not been implemented.

Until such time as it was clear that the Community and East Lothian Councils were ready, willing and able to move into action it was resolved to continue the campaign. Such campaigning can be extended if appropriate even to professional assistance in preparing an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for Park Restoration. But as soon as appropriate action was set in hand by the community's leaders, the Action Group's raison d'etre was accomplished.

The third Consultation closed, as on all previous occasions, with the call for the Council to cut the meadow grass in the park forthwith, adding that a few more litter/ dog fouling bins above the one placed lately would also be appreciated.

Published Date: April 25th 2007

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