Dalkeith park raises stakes with proposals

A CGI impression of the proposed playground expansion at Dalkeith Country Park.
A CGI impression of the proposed playground expansion at Dalkeith Country Park.

Plans have been unveiled to introduce zip wires and high rise walkways to Dalkeith Country Park’s playgound as part of a £300,000 investment.

Since opening in July 2016, Fort Douglas has welcomed more than 175,000 youngsters and a planning application has been lodged with Midlothian Council to gain permission to develop its second phase.

The proposals marry the old and the new; as well as the zip wires reminiscent of the park’s original children’s playground there will be magical treehouses and two giant racing slides.

The plans also include a new structure based on the park’s 19th century orangerie with zip wires for brave young adventurers – creating a play area of size and variation thought to be unique in the east of Scotland.

The proposals have been developed by Dalkeith Country Park’s owner, Buccleuch, and playground specialists, Capco, which designs and builds adventure playgrounds and equipment for various attractions. The new structures will be added to existing play equipment.

Buccleuch chief executive John Glen said: “It was always our ambition to expand Fort Douglas and, as it has proved so popular since opening last year, now is the perfect time to lodge our plans for the development of phase two.

“We’ve invested heavily in Dalkeith Country Park with the introduction of Restoration Yard and Fort Douglas to create an exceptional destination in the heart of Midlothian – and we want to continue making these exciting additions so that people of all ages can enjoy the park throughout the year.

“As we expand we can welcome more visitors from the region and further afield, as well as creating more jobs for people in the local area. We hope the plans are well received by councillors and the community.”

The redevelopment work undertaken at the park received the ‘Regeneration and Conservation Award’ at this year’s Edinburgh Architectural Association (EAA) Awards and the ‘Building Conservation Award’ at RICS Awards, Scotland.

Plans were submitted on September 12 and a decision is expected in coming months. Should approval be granted, work would start this year with the upgraded adventure playground ready by spring 2018.