WELCOME TO THE FRIENDS OF MUIR WOOD PARK WEBSITE


The aims of the group are as follows -

1.To conserve and enhance the environment of Muir Wood Park and the surrounding area.

2. To create a safer and welcoming environment for all its users.

3. To encourage and involve the local community in its care and management.

4.To promote the development of an educational source.

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 A BRIEF HISTORY OF MUIR  WOOD PARK

Muir Wood Road Park, commonly known as Muir Wood Park, is a remnant of the old Muir Wood, which in the past extended from        Gillespie Crossroads to Currie. The 1855 Ordnance Survey map shows an area of trees extending to what is now Muir Wood Road, located on the edge of agricultural fields. Its geometric outline suggests a policy woodland. Kirkwood's map of 1817 shows a number of trees in the area of the Nether Currie settlement.

Mollie Tweedie,widow of local historian John Tweedie, now in her 90's, recalls happy family outings with her children in the Muir Wood.In his well respected book "Our District" published in the 1960's. John Tweedie writes as follows : 

 

"Muir Wood Road, of course is very different today from what it was 15 years ago.Then it was a narrow rutted, unsurfaced track, but very popular with local shift workers ( from the paper mills) for a "quiet daunder".The wood was also popular with families, and there the bairns could run wild and have a glorious time hiding in the bushes, climbing trees or playing in the burn.Wild honeysuckle and other delights grew freely, and altogether the Muir Wood was a place of enchantment. Now it is part of the Wimpey Estate, which also covers a goodly part of Easter Currie fields.This estate was begun in 1955.The Muir Wood Road was extended to what is now Riccarton Mains Road".

 

Older local residents recall playing in the wood as children and enjoying catching tadpoles in the pond.

 

Much of the woodland was felled and the historic drainage ditches culverted during the building of the houses in the late 50's. Part of the drainage system is still evident in the dry ditch running through parts of the wood. Electricity pylons ran through it at one stage.For a time it became just a degraded piece of wasteland.Some young trees remained, nature healed, another generation of children adopted it for play and adventure. It was designated for public recreation under the ownership of the Local Authority, who coppiced the trees and did some replanting around forty years ago. Basic play equipment was installed. Thereafter maintenance consisted of grass cutting and safety procedures.

 

City of Edinburgh's 1996 publication "Edinburgh's Green Heritage" by Ian Nimmo, contains the following description of Muir Wood Park:

 

"No more than an oasis of greenery in the centre of a housing estate, this tiny park is nonetheless a little wonderland to those who know it. The Muir Wood play area is about 400 yards long by 200 yards deep, but it presents so many imaginative possibilities for those who seek them out. An elongated "S' shaped wood stretches diagonally the full length of the park. many paths wind through the woods, children can become hidden among the trees that explode in leaf in Summer, but they are never more than a few steps from open space and safety......... The Muir Wood once stretched from Gillespie Crossroads to Currie. Little of it remains but this isolated magical forest, left by George Wimpey to remind us of what used to be.

 

The Friends of Muir Wood Park Group would like to hear of your memories, and any information regarding the history of the Muir Wood, and of the present day.

 

 

The Friends of Muir Wood Park Group thanks Mrs. Mollie Tweedie and family for kindly giving their permission to quote from John Tweedies book "Our District".



 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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