Mavisbank - The Alternative


Friends of Mavisbank

"Friends of Mavisbank"  has been formed to ensure that the growing concerns generated by the Mavisbank Trust's proposals are recognised, and that the house and grounds are protected from potentially damaging and inappropriate development resulting from their plans for restoration.

In particular we are concerned at the scale of the proposed development plans, which aim to spend some 7,000,000 of civil works in this landlocked corner of the valley. We fear the area will be overwhelmed and its unique character permanently changed for the worse, particularly for those who really care about Midlothian's countryside.

The desirable elements of the Mavisbank Trust's proposals are all achievable at a modest cost within Phase 1. However, Phase 2 calls for huge additional expenditure of public funds, with, little or no additional benefit to the public. Indeed there are considerable disbenefits as the house itself, opened to the public in Phase 1, would then be closed in Phase 2, when converted.

Our objectives as "Friends of Mavisbank" are to:

  • Maintain the existing planning designations and legal protections covering the area and ensure that these are not reduced.

  • Maintain the integrity of the original architectural design, avoiding the solecism of inserting a modern interior.

  • Restore the exterior of the house to its original appearance and make it safe for visitors to walk through and appreciate, allowing for interpretive facilities which would explain Mavisbank's history and important place in Scottish architecture.

  • Retain the essentially natural, rural, tranquil character of the grounds and avoid the introduction of habitation with the inevitable concomitants of traffic movement, noise, and light pollution allowing the area to become an important wildlife link along the North Esk Valley.

  • Undertake a Landscape Management Plan which would conserve the many parkland trees, the lake and other important existing landscape features and immediately reduce the damage being done by horse grazing.

  • To improve public access for local walkers, who are not car dependent with the introduction of better signage, fencing, stiles, limited land drainage and to stabilise and improve existing footpath surfaces. This will negate the need for a Country Park.

  • Make use of labour forces such as the Midlothian Training Services and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers to reduce costs and help to create a sustainable project.


If you agree with our concerns and objectives and would like to support us, please contact us. We should be pleased to receive your comments.

Friends of Mavisbank



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