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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Marie Sharp

East Lothian park bids for protected status in memory of community councillor

A local park in Dunbar could be given protected status in memory of a former Edinburgh culture boss who served on the town's community council.

Retired archaeologist Herbert Coutts was a former director of culture and leisure with Edinburgh Council and was credited with putting the Scottish Capital on the map by bringing stunning exhibitions including the Emperor's Warriors - life-sized terracotta soldiers - to the city.

He was also the driving force behind the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition which drew nearly 500,000 visitors to the city - double the numbers who came to see the Emperors Warriors and Dinosaurs Alive and Star Trek shows which also drew more than 100,000 visitors.

READ MORE: East Lothian hotel hot tub extension gets go ahead despite 7,000 litres of water a day claim

Mr Coutts, chairman of the Scottish Battlefields Trust and a Dunbar Community Councillor, passed away in April this year.

However it emerged just a month before his death he had prepared a report for the community council setting out the case for Lauderdale Park to be made a "Queen Elizabeth Field".

The group approved the report and asked East Lothian Council to take steps needed to make it happen.

In his written case for the status which was first introduced in 1925 by King George V, Mr Coutts said: "In addition to providing legal protection in perpetuity, Queen Elizabeth Field status can be of assistance when grant-aid is sought for appropriate improvements to green spaces from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other grant giving foundations and charities.

"A standard requirement of such bodies is concrete evidence of the secure long-term future of the park/green space involved."

A report going before councillors for approval next week says: "A request was brought forward in April by Dunbar Community Council, following a proposal by the late Mr Herbert Coutts, that Lauderdale Park should be designated as a Field In Trust, in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

"It seems appropriate that this request is actioned, particularly as it can be undertaken in memory of Mr Coutts, following his sad passing."

The park, which is next to Dunbar Leisure Centre, and has a cafe within its grounds would protected 'in perpetuity' if granted the special status.

If councillors approve an application will be made to the charity Fields In Trust and a plaque installed in the park noting its legal ly protected status.

There are already six spaces in East Lothian which hold the special status - King George Field, Port Seton; Goolwa Park, Port Seton; Ormiston Park; Polson Park, Tranent; Cuthill Park, Prestonpans; and Winterfield Park, Dunbar.


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