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"Dalkeith Country Park to gets £3.5m revamp"

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  1. chdot
    Admin

  2. amir
    Member

    I hope this doesn't lead to lots more traffic in the park. I am using it quite a bit at the moment - nice and quiet.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. chdot
    Admin

    "I am using it quite a bit at the moment"

    Are you 'allowed' to without paying?

    I have gone through from Whitecraig end, but Dalkeith end has a pay booth.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. kaputnik
    Moderator

    For whatever reason, they've deleted the bit in the article (which was there yesterday) which stated the park is owned by the Buccleuch estate. I wonder if the money is coming from the latter or if it's cooncil funds.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. amir
    Member

    I do tend to go from the Whitecraig end. It used to be more expensive to enter just for a walk/cycle before they knocked down the adventure playground and I used to just pass without anyone stopping me. Now it is just £1 but I mostly pass when it's closed.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    It's a great place to cycle through. Pity it doesn't continue on a bit closer to Whitecraig though.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Will they rebuild the legendary (amongst 30- and 40-somethings) Dalkeith Adventure Playground? I saw it not long before it was dismantled, and was amused by how small it actually was.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. cb
    Member

    "amused by how small it actually was"

    So are you trying to tell me that the fireman's pole wasn't the height of a five storey building and the slide wasn't 150m long. That's what I remember.

    We usually go to the park a couple of times a year but always in the evening so I hadn't realised/remembered that you have to pay during the day.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. chdot
    Admin

    "

    The Duke of Buccleuch has announced that, from later this month, the gates to the park will be shut overnight from 7pm to 7am with access restricted to those who have paid the annual fee for a pass – £10 for adults, £20 for dog-walkers and £20 for a family.

    The estate said the move was “to improve safety and security” after a spate of antisocial behaviour and petty vandalism.

    But critics said closing the gates would do nothing to prevent trouble because people could climb over the walls.

    The new access arrangements come as the park prepares to open its multi-million pound redevelopment, including a new adventure playground together with cafés, restaurants and shops.

    "

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/pay-10-to-get-into-dalkeith-country-park-at-night-says-millionaire-duke-1-4054881

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. amir
    Member

    Also here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-35763084

    It's not clear whether cyclists will have access over "night" even with the card or will it still be possible to transit the park to and from the other exits e.g. Whitecraig end or Old Craighall

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. amir
    Member

    Apparently these other gates will be accessible to pedestrians out of hours with a card, but not King's Gate

    http://www.dalkeithcountrypark.co.uk/developmentproject/visitor-access/

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. amir
    Member

    The estate has confirmed that the main gate will allow cycles to pass (with the card) out of hours. The gates for the other 2 entrances (not King's gate) have not yet been designed but the intention is to allow cycle access.

    The way through from the main to the East Lothian entrances is closed at the moment due to the work at the stables. That should be open in the next two or three months.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. chdot
    Admin

  14. gembo
    Member

    BBC yesterday claiming £7million. £1 to get in even if on foot or bicycle now. Cheeky

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. Coxy
    Member

    Would love to get the kids to cylce to Dalkeith Country Park. But as the youngest is 8, I'd only really want to tackle cycle paths away from roads, if possible.

    Can anyone recommend a route from Porty/Musselburgh?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. Rob
    Member

    There is a nice path along the Esk but annoyingly it ends at Whitecraig, 0.5miles from the Smeaton Gate. Annoying because the Esk itself continues straight through the park!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Andy Wightman is now sitting as an MSP. He's already "on it", but if anyone has serious concerns they could do worse than drop him a line asking for the current status of how legal the charges for access are.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

  19. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Of course that's an appeal directly to the Buccleuch estate for a locals' waiver. Not any actual test of the legality of the charges under the outdoor access legislation.

    I seriously hope it's tested in court, but that takes lawyers and money and the Buccleuchs will have both in spades.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. crowriver
    Member

    Well you can see the seeds of their defence case in the line that they can only prevent vandalism by asking irresponsible visitors to leave; they can only restrict access to such visitors by levying a charge for a 'pass' (licence) to visit, thereby giving the ability to revoke the 'pass' (licence) if someone is irresponsible in their access to the park.

    Good luck challenging that in court.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Of course those intent on flytipping or causing vandalism or nuisance won't just climb the 3-strand fence at any one of the easily accessible locations on the perimeter and go in anyway...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. crowriver
    Member

    Well of course, but the pretext seems pretty much watertight to challenges under access legislation, don't you think?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. Morningsider
    Member

    Land reform access rights do not apply to land where a charge was levied for entry (for a period of at least 90 days per year) prior to 31 January 2001 and have continued to be levied for at least 90 days per year since that date.

    See Section 6(1)(f) of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

    Looks pretty watertight to me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Land reform access rights do not apply to land where a charge was levied for entry (for a period of at least 90 days per year) prior to 31 January 2001 and have continued to be levied for at least 90 days per year since that date.

    I think the challenge would be if the levy for general access was ever actually charged before 2001. From what I understand it may have existed in theory but was not actually collected, and only car parking levies were actually collected. Certainly I have never paid a levy to go into the estate at any point; but never tried before 2001!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. crowriver
    Member

    I'm sure Buccleuch estates will come up with some piece of paper evidencing the levying of charges before 2001, even if in practice they didn't do so.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. Morningsider
    Member

    Kaputnik - interesting point. The exemption from access rights only applies where "members of the public were admitted only on payment". You could certainly read that as payment having to be made, rather than simply a charge being levied and never collected.

    Still - my gut goes with crowriver here. Pretty sure Buccleuch will have all this covered - they aren't exactly short of cash, lawyers or friends in the judiciary (not that I'm implying any bias - I'm sure the exceeding wealthy landed gentry are treated the same as anyone else).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. urchaidh
    Member

    Took the kids out there (by car) yesterday. It was, predictably, rammed. No entry or parking charges were collected.

    We paid a fiver per kid to get them into the new adventure playground thing which was actually pretty good value despite the crowds, and nice that they don't charge adults to accompany the kids in.

    Fencing around the adventure playground has clearly been inspired by Jurassic Park.

    Will no doubt be back when the Scottish Weather returns to deter the crowds and when I can figure out how to cycle there.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. amir
    Member

    I went to scout it out today. Huge numbers of cars - shame in such a lovely Park. Hopefully that will subside. They seem to have made a major mistake with the cafe - it's tiny so there was no way to get a seat without waiting yonks. On the other hand the restaurant (which we went to by mistake) is enormous and had many free tables but no scones.

    Incidentally at the entrance I saw a planning notice for temporary change of use of an agricultural building for cycle hire.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. urchaidh
    Member

    Cycled out with kids from Porty yesterday. Along to Musselburgh then up the Esk to Whitecraig and on to Dalkeith on NCN1.

    On the way there we went for the Town Gate. This was all pretty easy going apart from the last we bit from the South Esk Bridge to the gate.

    On the way back we went through the park to the Smeaton Gate, 500m south of Whitecraig. We decided the busy A6094 between the gate and Whitecraig was a no-go with the kids, but a fairly quiet B road 50m north of the gate took us back up to the cycle path - bit of a detour though, 2Km rather than 500m, and a hairy road crossing to get to the B road.

    Can't decide which route I preferred.

    There is a gate north of Whitecraig on Cowpits road, shame that's not usable.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. amir
    Member

    @urchdaidh I've seen plenty cycling on the pavement from Smeaton Gate to Whitecraig. Another route if you're not on narrow tyres is through to Old Craighall. It was on the Spokes map (at least a few versions ago) and I've not been on it in a while. When coming from the Stables towards Smeaton gate, after the bridge over the new road you have to turn left rather than following the road right to Smeaton Gate. You can easily get back onto the Esk path from Old Craighall but I'm not sure whether that's too busy for you or if pavement cycling is allowed.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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