Rob Melville of Friends of the Pentlands writes:

‘Friends of the Pentlands (FOP) is a voluntary charity organisation first established in 2003, not only repair and improve upland path in conjunction with the Regional Park Rangers, they also have a gardening group who maintain the Nature Garden by Harlaw House.

The garden is a mix of carefully planted areas around a central lawn and areas where nature is left to flourish in all its wild diversity. These contain a mix of trees, bushes and shrubs to encourages birds, insects and the odd hedgehog and rabbit. It includes a pond with a viewing platform and information board and, tucked away in one corner, three pens for composting. The rich loam they produce is regularly applied to the planted areas and raised beds containing flowers and herbs. The garden is popular with Pentland visitors, especially in Spring and Summer. The lawn is often a briefing location for Park Rangers and a resting and picnic area for everyone else who use the wooden tables and attached benches.

Friends of the Pentlands have currently around 400 members who work on a variety of projects including litter picking across the whole Pentland range. Recent work in the Colinton area have seen dilapidated steps on the steep part of the path between Bonaly and Dreghorn replaced by a succession of work parties over the summer. Bridge repairs were carried out on a path leading from Bonaly and gorse reduction completed in Sanctuary Wood above the car park, leaving limited stands of gorse as valuable habitats for wildlife. Work is presently being done in the area south of the path from Bonaly ca rpark to Torduff – all aimed at diversifying and improving habitats in the Bonaly Country Park.

Further information on how to join and on the aims and objectives of the FOP can be found on its website –

The photographs below show the Nature Garden and work being carried out in the Colinton area.