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Specialist rock safety abseil team carries out operation in Holyrood park

31 January 2008

A team of specialist rockwork contractors is about to start on the next phase of Historic Scotland’s rock slope management programme in Holyrood Park.

This involves trained specialists abseiling down the cliff face in the area known as Woodpecker’s Gully.

They will clear stones that are loose and pin others that are at risk of becoming loose, reducing the potential for rock falls.

This is an important public safety operation involving a highly-trained team of geotechnical engineers and contractors who will assess each area of rock face to define the extent of essential works to be undertaken.

The operation means the High Road will be closed to vehicles for safety and operational reasons for around a month from Monday, 4 February 2008, subject to good weather.

Historic Scotland carries out rock scaling operations in Holyrood Park on an ongoing basis.

These operations are often away from roads so are largely unnoticed by the public.

The work is necessary because of natural erosion caused by wind, rain, ice and sunshine which can loosen pieces of rock.

While the process is not entirely predictable, it is possible to minimise the risk of substantial falls, through surveys and safety work on areas identified as potentially at risk.

For further information


Matthew Shelley
Historic Scotland
Marketing & Media
0131 668 8734
matthew.shelley@scotland.gsi.gov.uk