Path cleared to memorial tree

A wreath was hung on the tree in December.
A wreath was hung on the tree in December.

A project to restore access to a tree planted in Dunnottar Woods in memory of those who died in World War One is almost complete.

The oak tree was planted in 1919, just behind Dunnottar churchyard. A plaque near to the tree reads: “This tree was planted on 8th July, 1919, in honour of those parishioners who fought in the Great War”.

The equipment purchased using the donation from the Freemasons in Stonehaven.

The equipment purchased using the donation from the Freemasons in Stonehaven.

Over the last 50 years the site had become overgrown and largely forgotten, however that all changed last year when Dunnottar Church became involved in the restoration of the site.

Donald McRae from the kirk session, has been leading the project. The area was initially cleared last summer by Scottish and Southern Electricity, but since then Donald has been working hard to clear a path to the tree from the roadside.

One path, which is easier and more suitable for the less able, does not lead all the way to the tree but does lead to a vantage point for viewing the area. The second path leads all the way to the tree and the plaque.

A sign has been erected by the roadside, which was designed and paid for by the Stonehaven Heritage Society, pointing out the location of the ‘living memorial’ to passersby, and Donald said his work has been made much easier thanks to a donation from the Stonehaven Freemasons, which has allowed him to purchase a strimmer, a lopper and protective clothing. Remaining money from the donation will be used on minor expenses.

Of the contributions, Donald said: “We are very thanksful to the Freemasons and to the Heritage Society, it was really very nice of them.

“The paths are cleared and we hope to put bark down eventually. The first path doesn’t lead all the way to the tree, but it is a bit easier to manoeuvre. I’m hoping someone will donate a rustic seat for the viewpoint.”

Donald added that anyone who wishes to see the tree but is worried about being able to physically get along the path can contact the church, where someone may be able to assist.

What do you think of the project? Have you been to see the tree?

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