I was so sad to receive a call from Margaret Price to tell me her husband Eddie had passed away.
Eddie had served as the Chair of the Friends of Corstorphine Hill since we set it up nearly twelve years ago.
From day one Eddie took charge and over the years the group grew to become one of the largest and most respected conservation groups in the City boasting in excess of 1500 members. They had tapped into all sorts of grants with the result that for the first time in 70 years new saplings were planted in that remarkable wood.
Management plans were worked up and enacted. We had litter pickups, tours based around archaeology, geology, flora and fauna and even mushroom picking tours. Education packs were supplied to local schools about the Hill.
All of this was done under Eddie’s leadership. Right from the start he was in the driving seat.
When East of Scotland Water decided they wanted to build giant water tanks on the Meadow off Clermiston Rd Eddie led the charge against it. In battling the Zoo proposals to build on Greenbelt and the Nature Reserve Eddie was there leading from the front.
He was such a fighter for the Hill and a great champion of open space.
Eddie was far from about being against things though and I always felt he was happiest with positive ideas. The renovation of the Four Acre Walled Garden – the first in Scotland to receive a Green Pennant – the garden version of the Green Flag – was a case in point. In true Eddie style he managed to rope in the BBC and a totally derelict space where you wouldn’t have guessed a garden had ever existed was transformed in a matter of months into one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems.
The Green Pennants were not awarded to the Council but to the Friends Group. The last time I spoke with Eddie was at the event the Friends had to celebrate their Community Green Flag. He wasn’t at all well then but you wouldn’t have known it. He seemed his usual gregarious self.
Gregarious is such a good word to describe Eddie. He was a generous and warm hearted man who could never do enough for you. My late mother used to say that “a Great man has Time for everybody”. Well that was so true of Eddie.
Passionate about the causes he believed in he was so committed to them. Corstorphine has lost a great champion and protector of our open spaces