One of the finest assets of Dawyck Botanic Garden is the Scrape burn; it runs through the centre of the garden as it meanders its way to join the Tweed. The Scrape and its banks create fantastic micro-climates and special environments suitable for flora and fauna alike, and of course you can’t get better than the sound of running water in a garden!

As the Scrape flows through the garden it passes under nine bridges, four of them are wooden therefore tend to require slightly more maintenance than the others.


Harvey Geddes, a member of the small horticultural team at Dawyck is the on-site expert who specialises in the design, construction and maintenance of the wooden bridges. Harvey started off his career with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh at Logan Botanic Garden in 1980 before transferring to Dawyck a few years later. His interest and initial basic skills for wood work were gained prior to working at Logan, but now he is a self-taught craftsman, who enjoys the challenge of maintaining the wooden furniture within the garden and café areas at Dawyck.

With great patience and skill, Harvey has recently completed a full restoration of one of the pedestrian bridges in the centre of the garden; the bridge was built 15 years ago and had begun to show its age. During construction, he reuses and recycles as much of the original wood [in this case, oak], as possible. For the rest he used garden-grown oak from a tree lost to the weather previously for the rebuild. It took about three weeks to complete and a fair amount of that time Harvey found himself carrying out the work while standing in the burn!

The final stage for the bridge was to treat it with a UV-Protection-Oil to prolong its life. The surrounding gravel paths have now been tidied and we hope as many people as possible can now enjoy the fruits of the team’s hard work. The below picture shows the finished bridge with Garden Supervisor Thomas Gifford, Harvey Geddes and Curator Graham Stewart admiring Harvey’s work.

Image-1Dawyck Botanic Garden is open daily from 10am right up until the end of November. Please visit our website for more information

Pictures by Gavin Harris, Volunteer Photographer at Dawyck Botanic Garden and David Knott Curator of Living Collections.