Councillor Neil Gardiner, convenor of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Pentland Hills Regional Park joint committee, has called a meeting following recent problems in the area.

The assault on a 70-year-old bailiff, who suffered severe facial injuries after an attack at Harlaw (pictured), follows concerns over camping, parking and refuse, including soiled toilet paper and ladies underwear plus tents and hundreds of cans and bottles, left lying in the park in recent weeks.

Other reservoirs including Threipmuir, Glencorse. Loganlea and Clubbiedean have also had issues post lock down.

Councillor Gardiner, who is also convenor of the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning commitee, said: “I had requested that the police response is increased to reflect the situation occurring on the ground and that they take appropriate measures to prevent illegal activity.”

He added that the reservoirs are deep and potentially dangerous and Councillor Gardiner said: “A member of the public was seriously assaulted in a cowardly attack (at Harlaw), which is completely unacceptable. I spoke to the victim on Friday.

“This assault is being investigated by the police and the whole community requires assurance that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.”

The meeting involved all local councillors, police officers, representatives from Balerno Community Council, Balerno Village Trust, Malleny Angling Ltd, local farmers and the parks service and it will consider what measures can be taken to protect the park for lawful use.

Councillor Gardiner, who represents the Pentland Hills ward, said the parks service were working on proposals for the future of the park which has become a magnet for people from a wide area post-lock down.

Problems at Harlaw and Threipmuir have been spotlighted by Balerno Community Council for some time and chairman Richard Henderson said the situation had deteriorated recently and become particularly acute after COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

The assault on the bailiff had, he added, taken this situation to a new level.