On the face of it…

THE next stage of a programme to improve the safety of Edinburgh Castle’s rock face has been revealed by Historic Scotland.

A £1m project for the southern face of the rock will involve constructing a three-metre high, 170-metre long barrier to form a protective area at the base of the rock. The technique has been developed following extensive rock-fall modelling and advice from specialist geotechnical engineers.
The barrier will give long-term mitigation to the natural processes of weathering and erosion that can result in rock falls. The proposal is also part of the agency’s safety management strategy for the faces of the castle rock.
Work will be carried out in two phases. The first involves the installation of a temporary barrier on Johnston Terrace this month which will remain in place during the development of a more permanent solution in the second phase. The permanent works will be in place by the end of 2014.
Phase one will also include spray treatment to eradicate invasive plant growth which can gradually penetrate and loosen rock joints.
Barbara Cummins, Historic Scotland’s director of heritage management, stressed that the work is not in response to any increased risk of rock falls.