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Below Hawkhill
(Castlebrae Playing Field)

Back to Hawkhill WoodOn to Craigmillar Castle Park

Gravel area with lots of flowers. Spring/summer

This is a large, area of new, mixed plantation woodland, playing fields and gravel area, which used to be part of Hawkhill Quarry.

On the gravel is an amazing number of different flowering plants, considering it looks like a desert! There are mosses, grasses, Dandelions (with bees), Ragwort, Common Whitlowgrass, Common Mouse Ear, Spear Thistle, Creeping Buttercup, Ribwort Plantain and Rosebay Willowherb, with Daisies, Common Field Speedwell and Field Horsetail spilling over from the playing field.

The planted woodland areas contain young Willow, Ash, Birch, Oak, Rowan and Larch, with Dog Rose, Holly and Dogwood in some areas. The ground plants consist of Cocksfoot Grass, Hogweed, Creeping Buttercup, Rosebay Willowherb, Thistle and Dock.

Next to the Castleview Centre (Sandy’s Boys Club) and along Craigmillar Castle Avenue there is a planted woodland of Willow, Ash, Scots Pine, Oak, Rowan, Sycamore, Larch, Beech and Silver Birch, with Rose, Hawthorn and Hazel shrubs. The ground plants here consist of long grasses, Dandelion, Cleavers, Creeping Buttercup, Broad-leaved Dock, thistles and Rosebay Willowherb.


What to look out for and when

Spring Summer Autumn Winter
On gravel:

White/pink vertical stems of Field Horsetail

Around edges of field:

Pink stumpy flowers on Larch trees

Catkins on Hazel shrubs

White flowers on Hawthorn


On gravel:

Small, blue flowers of Common Field Speedwell

White and yellow Daisies

Yellow Dandelions

Purple Spear Thistles

Yellow Creeping Buttercup

Around edges of field:

Pink Rosebay Willowherb flowers

Pink/white Roses

Grasses in flower

On gravel:

Yellow Ragwort with fluffy seed heads

Fluffy seed heads and prickly leaves of Spear Thistle

Fluffy seed heads of Dandelions

Around edges of field:

Bright red Rowan berries

'Helicopter' winged Sycamore seeds

Larch needles falling

Red Hawthorn berries

Bright red stems and leaves of Dogwood

Around edges of field:

Contrast evergreen Scots Pine with bare Larch

Round oak apples on Oak trees (made by Gall wasp)

Papery Birch catkins

Bright red stems of Dogwood

Compare buds of different trees (e.g. Ash-black, Oak-brown, in clusters, Alder-purple, Rowan-hairy, Beech-long and pointy, Birch-small and delicate)

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Go explore for yourself!