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Parks: Craigmillar Castle Park including Hawkhill Woods

By City of Edinburgh Council

By City of Edinburgh Council

Having fun on the awesome climbing nets at the play area.

By Contributor Karen Reeves

By City of Edinburgh Council

By City of Edinburgh Council

By City of Edinburgh Council

By City of Edinburgh Council

By City of Edinburgh Council

Orchid surveying has begun at Craigmillar Castle Park. Over 50 northern marsh orchid have been spotted on the first survey of 2016.

By Contributor City of Edinburgh Council

Background
Craigmillar Castle Park is a natural heritage park with areas of mature and young woodland, grassland and old quarries. In 1997, over 40,000 trees were planted as part of the millennium forest for Scotland project. This park provides an excellent place to walk, cycle or jog on many different paths to explore the different habitats. The park has been awarded a Green Flag since 2010 in recognition of it being a quality green space.
History and heritage
Craigmillar Castle Park is set against the backdrop of Craigmillar Castle . An enormous baronial structure famously associated with Mary Queen of Scots, was built in the 15th century by Sir John Preston. It passed from the Prestons to Sir John Gilmour, a distant relative, in 1660 and remained with that family until 1946 when it passed to the state and then onto Historic Scotland who manage it today.
Wildlife
The area is a mixture of open parkland with groups of veteran trees, mature woodland located around the fringes of Craigmillar Hill and recently created woodland established on the fields on the north and western edges of the Hill. The young woodlands at the north of the park are made up of many different native species: alder, birch, oak, ash and hawthorn are just some. These trees are excellent places to see and hear the many small birds that live in the park, such as bullfinch. Watch for the buzzards soaring over the grasslands in the park. They make a mewling cry as they call to each other. The range of grasslands and woodlands means there are plenty of rabbits and voles for them to eat.
Other useful links
Natural Heritage Service
Management Plan
Download the park management plan
Facilities
Natural Heritage Service
Interpretation panels
Orienteering
Play area
Seating
Get Involved
Craigmillar Woods Action Group
Contact Details
Old Dalkeith Road
EH16 4TB
0131 529 2401
naturalheritageservice@edinburgh.gov.uk