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.

Winter safety in Holyrood Park

10 February 2009

With sledging, snowmen and snowball fights on the agenda, Historic Scotlandís Ranger Service is urging people to take care while out enjoying some winter fun in Holyrood Park.

The cold weather and drop in temperature has make the surface of the lochs and ponds in Holyrood Park freeze over into ice.

Despite Historic Scotland signage warning the public of the dangers of frozen water, people are continuing to take extreme risks by ignoring the signs and walking on frozen lochs and ponds in the park.

There have been a number of minor incidents over the past week, including members of the public attempting to retrieve objects that have been thrown onto ice, walking on the ice, trying to break the ice and attempting to rescue dogs.

To increase public safety during this cold spell, Historic Scotland's Ranger Service has increased patrols across the park. Rangers have been out and about talking to members of the public and raising awareness about the risks of frozen water.

Susan Loch, Head of Visitor Services, Historic Scotland, said: We absolutely encourage people to get out and enjoy Holyrood Park in the winter months. However, please be aware of the dangers and potentially tragic consequences of trying to break or walk on the ice.

"The park is a wonderful place to visit all-year-round and the seasonal weather adds a new look and dimension to the park. We ask that adults and young people set a good example by staying off the ice and dog owners should ensure they keep their pets on a lead. Falling through the ice can potentially risk your life."


  • Holyrood Park has a number of lochs and ponds, including: St Margaretís Loch, Dunsapie Loch, Duddingston Loch and the Wells Oí Wearie ponds.

  • Over the past week there have been several minor incidents relating to the frozen lochs and ponds in the park. These have involved people attempting to walk over the ice. These incidents have prompted concern by Historic Scotland for visitors to the park. The agency would like to remind the public of the dangers of frozen water.

  • Holyrood Park is in Edinburgh, east of Holyrood Palace and Abbey. Tel 0131 652 8150.
  • 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 Scotlandís network of Rangers ñ 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 ñrom prehistoric dwellings and stone circles, to castles and palaces, abbeys and cathedrals. For further details, visit:
  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming 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

Laura Varney
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959 or 07769 630 763