The ‘loch’ in question was the nickname for a shallow basin in the carriageway that regularly filled up with water due to rain. The water was always murky as it mixed with soil and had a very muddy bottom. Some of the visiting dogs liked it but the owners weren’t so keen when they saw their pets emerge covered in muddy water! One dog in particular springs to mind – a young golden retriever that had a pristine coat just before it had a brief mud bath in this pond. Afterwards, only the top of its head and top of its back were still blonde but the rest was a dark shade of brown! The dog’s owner was not available for comment.

The pool had been slowly growing in width over the years to the point where people were only just able to pass on one side. We thought it was time to re-establish the carriageway so that visitors could once again use it. A narrow trench was dug to provide a channel along which the water could drain away down the slope. Once almost completely drained, much mud was shovelled out. We had obtained a couple of tons of roof slate which was placed into the basin barrowload by barrowload from its location at the main gate. That task was almost complete when a 3-man crew from The City of Edinburgh Council stepped in to help us finish the job. They carried down the remaining slate on the front shovel of their digger machine then put some recycled road planings, which they had brought in on a truck for this purpose, on top then levelled it off with the mechanical shovel. You can see the results as well as ‘before’ and work in progress shots below. Click on an image to view a larger version. This will open in a new browser tab or window.

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