The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Holyrood's historic treasures and natural wonders revealed by park rangers

23 June 2009


Edinburgh’s skyline is shaped by Holyrood Park’s distinctive crags and most famous landmark, Arthur’s Seat. And throughout July and August, the Park’s Ranger Service is hosting a series of special guided walks to share their expert knowledge of this stunning city centre landscape.

Taking place every Wednesday from 1pm – 3pm, the walks will highlight the history of this fascinating landscape, its geological and archaeological features, and the wildlife that thrives in this natural habitat in the heart of the capital.

The walks take place on 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th July and 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th August, but as places are limited, pre-booking is essential by calling the Ranger Service on 0131 652 8150.

Nicky Pettigrew of the Ranger Service said: "Holyrood Park is full of geological and archaeological treasures dating back thousands of years. In addition to Arthur's Seat, these include hill forts dating from around 2,000 years ago, a prehistoric farmstead, and also the remains of a medieval cultivation terraces.

“We’re inviting local people and visitors alike to come along and enjoy a pleasant walk through the Park whilst we share with them lots of interesting and diverse facts about these wonderful surroundings.  We’ll also be highlighting why the Park is an important natural habitat for an extensive range of plants and wildlife, including a wide variety of birds.”

And the Rangers will also be highlighting the wildlife in the Park – or more specifically the wide range of butterflies to be found in it during the summer months – in a series of weekend events during July.  

The ‘Come Fly With Me’ butterfly recording events are meeting at the Holyrood Park Information Centre (lodge house beside the Parliament) on 4th and 5th, 11th and 12th, and 18th and 19th July. There are two sessions each day, from 10.30am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 2.30pm. These are suitable for all ages and again, as places are limited, please call the Ranger Service on 0131 652 8150 to book in advance.

The Ranger Service’s Natalie Taylor said: “Holyrood Park provides a wonderful natural habitat for more than 20 species of butterfly, including the Ringlet, Small Tortoise, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue and Northern Brown Argus.

“Our butterfly recording sessions in July not only aim to encourage all ages to look out for these but also understand and appreciate butterflies and why it is important to look after the natural environments in which they live and breed.”

Notes for editors

  • Holyrood Park is one of Edinburgh’s most famous and popular historic landmarks. It encompasses a 5-mile radius of land and has probably been a Royal Park since the 12th century. It designated as both an Ancient Monument and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

  • Holyrood Park is in the care of Historic Scotland, which is responsible for maintaining the natural environment and presenting the Park for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors. The Ranger Service based at Holyrood Park cares for this unique historic and natural attraction and provides a range of important educational services.

  • Historic Scotland cares for over 345 heritage properties and sites throughout Scotland, from the Highlands and Islands to the Borders, ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting Scotland’s Homecoming 2009 with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871