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Braid Burn

Braid Burn
©2019 Gazetteer for Scotland

Braid Burn

Formed by the meeting of headwaters which rise in the Pentland Hills, the Braid Burn collects the waters of the Bonaly Burn and Howden Burn and flows for 9 miles (14 km) northeast through the city of Edinburgh. It becomes the Figgate Burn northeast of Duddingston and completes its final mile (1.5 km) to drain into the Firth of Forth at Portobello. The Braid Burn flows to the south of Colinton, then on through Firrhil and Greenbank, through the picturesque Hermitage of Braid between the Braid Hills and Blackford Hill, and past Liberton and Cameron Toll. Here, at what was once the Cameron Myre, the burn had to be culverted, having caused severe flooding to the Cameron Toll shopping centre not long after it opened in the 1980s. It then follows a slow and sluggish course alongside the University of Edinburgh playing fields at Peffermill before meeting the outflow from Duddingston Loch, where it turns north before becoming the Figgate Burn at Duddingston Mills. In 1882, the Edinburgh city fathers were forced to take legal action to prevent pollution entering the burn, which had acted as an open sewer, particularly from the heavily polluted Pow Burn which once met the Braid just south of Newington.

Following floods in 2000 and 2002, a major flood alleviation scheme was initiated along much of the length of the Braid Burn in 2004 at a cost of £17 million. This involved building walls, embankments and creating temporary flood storage reservoirs using Inch Park and Peffermill playing fields.

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