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Meadows and Bruntsfield Links disfigured by barbecues

Warm weather and disposable barbecues go hand in hand, but a pilot project may help to save the resultant damaged turf.

Local residents and community councillors are appealing for people to use designated concrete slabs on the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links for their barbecues, after visitors enjoying the warm weather left the parks with hundreds of rectangular burns.

Barbecues were a burning isssue at a meeting of the Marchmont and Sciennes community council, where there was debate as to whether they should be confined to safe areas in the park or banned altogether.

Mike Shields, the community parks officer for South Edinburgh, said there could be up to 120 barbecues a day on the Meadows during good weather. He pointed out that he currently had two rangers to cover 23 parks in South Edinburgh, and both were being employed full-time just on the Meadows.

After the meeting, Guardian Edinburgh counted 76 barbecue burns on the Bruntsfield Links and the park above it.

Audrey Simon from the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links said it caused litter problems, and filled the air with cooking smells - not just in the evenings, but for "brunch, lunch, and dinner".

But after councillor Cameron Rose pointed out that the police have no power to get involved in the matter, it was agreed that the best course was to persuade people to use barbecue stands and the concrete platforms being piloted around parks. Maps will be put up on park notice boards, and distributed to shops selling disposable barbecues.

The Google map below shows the location of the barbecue safe zones - please remember to use them!

View Barbecue safe zones on the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links in a larger map.

Source: Tom Allan, Gardian Edinburgh, Friday, 11th June, 2010