Lothians Group: Blinkbonny Park

HomeEventsLothians Group: Blinkbonny Park

12 April 2023 (11:00 - 15:00)

Meeting report

Bryologists’ inaction

This quiet park on the edge of the small settlement of Blinkbonny near Currie, consists of a plantation, possibly a Millennium Wood, around a central grassy area. At the edge of the grass there is a small granite pillar in the middle of a circle of flat sandstone slabs, perhaps symbolising a millwheel from the nearby Water of Leith. Somehow the meeting lasted for four hours instead of two, and the bad weather promised by the BBC must have gone elsewhere as there was warm sunshine when we eventually departed.

The park appears to have had a former existence as a dump for coal ash, into which the local badgers have tunnelled extensively. The main risk of injury was probably from stumbling into one of the many entrances to their sets. In happy contrast to most of the local parks around Edinburgh we found no evidence of dog fouling, and the ground vegetation seemed untrampled, badger paths excepted.

Much of the bryological interest is in the epiphytes growing on the ash and field maple trees, and many locally common species were present, including a healthy population of Radula complanata. A short stretch of path around the grass area had been tidied since an earlier visit, resulting in the loss of Pohlia wahlenbergii; this was one of only two species found on preliminary visits but not seen today. However the loss of one Pohlia was more than compensated by Carolyn’s discovery of another one, Pohlia drummondii, which was growing between concrete slabs under a picnic table.

On the flat sandstone slabs were the now ubiquitous Lophocolea semiteres and L. bidentata, along with a thallose liverwort which we tentatively identified as Aneura pinguis; there were also sprawling patches of Cratoneuron filicinum. The path edges, where not tidied, had a variety of minute acrocarpous mosses and it was here that we found our last moss of the day, Bryum argenteum. The meeting ended with the five of us around a picnic table going through some of the day’s finds.

David Adamson, April 2023

Meeting details

The next meeting of the Group is on Wednesday 12 April 2023 at Blinkbonny Park, 11:00 – 13:00. The habitat is a small but well-wooded public park on the edge of Edinburgh. The park is on a former bing of coal ash. The main aim is to learn to identify some local epiphytes. The main risk is slipping on a steep slope of coal ash.

Good footwear and suitable clothing are essential.  Please also bring a packed lunch and a hand lens.

Meeting details: Meet at Blinkbonny Public Park entrance at 11:00. NT19115 67980. EH14 6AX. What3words: zebra.aura.guilty

For those travelling by bus the meeting place is a short walk from the Muir Wood Road bus stop served by Lothian Bus number 44. There should be roadside car parking at the west end of Blinkbonny village (the opposite end of the village from the public park).

Please email David Adamson at davidadamson32@gmail.com no later than 10 April 2023 if you wish to attend.


Blinkbonny Park