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Authorities urge irresponsible skiers and snowboarders to stop taking risks during cold snap

8 December 2010

Historic Scotland’s Ranger Service and Lothian and Borders Police have urged irresponsible skiers and snow boarders to stop putting themselves and other members of the public at risk in Holyrood Park during the current cold snap.

Over the past week there have been several incidents and injuries relating to the large number of people using ski’s, snowboards and makeshift sledges including inflatable dinghies, metal signs, bin bags and canoes, descending on the beauty spot following the unprecedented snowfall.

There have also been reports of ski-ers and snowboarders launching off the Radical Road and other high areas of the park into the way of other members of the public and in some cases into on coming traffic.  

Snowboarders and ski-ers have also created home made jumps, which pose dangers to sledgers and block the main paths for other park users.
Rangers, Police, and ambulance staff have received a number of calls from people asking for assistance when they have got into difficulties, putting unnecessary strain on already stretched resources.

The most serious incident saw emergency services hindered during a rescue operation at the weekend when skiers and snowboarders continued to come down the hill at speed as they tried to remove a seriously injured sledger from the hill.

Historic Scotland’s Ranger Service has increased patrols across the park during the cold snap and has been speaking to members of the public to raise awareness of the risks.

Martin Gray Visitors Service Manager for Historic Scotland Rangers Service, said;

"Although we understand that people want to get out and enjoy the snow, it is important that this is done safely and responsibly.
“We would completely discourage skiers and boarders from launching themselves off crag faces and creating make-shift jumps, as this is both irresponsible and endangers themselves and other park users.

“We would also encourage sledgers to use purpose built sledges and stick to the lower slopes of the park were there is less chance of picking up the sort of speed that could result in serious injury to themselves or other people.”

Inspector Nadine Aliane from Lothian and Borders Police said;

“Holyrood Park is a popular area for people to enjoy the snow however the festive weather conditions mean our resources are being stretched to the limit.

“Accidents caused by irresponsible behaviour can divert resources from serious incidents and put lives at risk.

While we want everyone to enjoy themselves, we would encourage people to do so safely.”


  • 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 cares for this unique historic and natural attraction and provides a range of important educational services.

  • Holyrood Park Rangers are part of Historic Scotland’s network of Rangers – there are also Ranger Services at Linlithgow Peel and at the Ring of Brodgar in Orkney.

  • Historic Scotland cares for 345 properties and sites throughout Scotland – from prehistoric dwellings and stone circles, to castles and palaces, abbeys and cathedrals.  For further details, visit:  

For further information

Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858