The Braid Burn in the Hermitage of Braid
|Main source||Pentland Hills|
|Basin size||30.5 km2 (11.8 sq mi)|
|Length||14 km (8.7 mi)|
The burn forms near Bonaly in the Pentland Hills south-west of the city, when the Bonaly and Howden burns that flow from the Pentlands meet. From there, it flows in a generally north-easterly direction, skirting the Braid Hills to the east and south, via the Braid Valley Park, the Hermitage of Braid, Blackford Glen, Cameron Toll and Inch Park. On reaching Peffermill it is joined by the Jordan Burn, and at Duddingston its name changes to the Figgate Burn. It flows on to enter the Firth of Forth at Portobello.
The area of the basin drained by the burn and its tributaries amounts to 30.5 square kilometres (11.8 sq mi). The burn rises quickly after rain, and can become very large when in spate. 80 per cent of the catchment area of the burn is in the lower urban section, the other portion being south of the Edinburgh City Bypass.
The burn flows through part of its course in a gorge cut by glacial meltwater that exposed a weakness in the rock. Prior to this, the burn took a more southerly course around Blackford Hill. The gorge also prevented the building of houses along parts of the course, so the burn flows for several miles through parkland.
The burn has a history of flooding, and major events occurred on 3 January 1982, 28 May 1983, 3 November 1984, 6 October 1990, 7 October 1993, 26–27 April 2000, 7–8 November 2000, and in October 2002.
After the flooding in 2000, the City of Edinburgh Council elected to install a flood prevention scheme along much of the stream's length. Walls and embankments were constructed at points along the length of the burn, and new culverts and bridges were installed, and alterations to upstream reservoirs in the Pentland Hills were carried out. Parks and golf courses were modified to store water in the event of a flood.
The burn is mentioned in Muriel Spark's famous novel of Edinburgh, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, when Sandy and Miss Brodie meet after the war at the Braid Hills Hotel: 'They looked out of the wide windows at the little Braid Burn trickling through the fields and at the hills beyond, so austere from everlasting that they had never been capable of losing anything by the war.'
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- "Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill Local Nature Reserve Management Plan 2011 – 2021" (PDF). City of Edinburgh Council. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- "Application by City of Edinburgh Council at Flood Prevention Braid Burn Edinburgh" (PDF). City of Edinburgh Council. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "The Park – History". Friends of Braidburn Valley Park. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
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- Treasurer, James W.; Mills, Derek H. "An Annotated Bibliography of Research on Coarse and Salmonid Fish (excluding Salmon And Trout) Found in Fresh Water in Scotland".
- "Parks and gardens - Hermitage of Braid Local Nature Reserve". City of Edinburgh Council. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Cold water poured on flood defences". The Scotsman. 29 November 2002. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "Governance of Major Projects: Water of Leith and Braid Burn Flood Prevention Schemes – referral from the Transport and Environment Committee" (PDF). City of Edinburgh Council. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Braid Burn Flood Prevention Scheme". AECOM. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- Spark, Muriel (1961). The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. London: Macmillan.
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