A former agriculturalfield that has been transformed into a community woodland has been officially opened in Portlethen this week.
The project was initiated by the Portlethen Moss Conservation Group in 2006 as a means to replace parkland lost during the construction of Portlethen Academy.
The conservation group approached Aberdeenshire Council with their park proposal and it was agreed that it should be developed on a former agricultural site owned by the local authority.
Planning permission was granted for the scheme in 2008, and funding secured from the Forestry Commission to purchase native trees for the site. The project was further boosted when Talisman Energy agreed to provide funding over three years.
Around 60 guests attended the formal opening for the woodland park. The occasion was marked by the planting of a tree in honour of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Among guests in attendance were Lord and Lady Arbuthnot and representatives of Aberdeenshire Council and Talisman Energy.
Conservation group chair Denise Martin said: ‘’Monday’s official opening marks the achievement of many years of planning and hard work. It’s all about partnerships – the Portlethen Moss Conservation Group has been very fortunate to have the support of Aberdeenshire Council, the Forestry Commission and Talisman, without whom this project would not be the success that it has been.
“Since its inception, the local primary schools have embraced the opportunity to be involved, giving them ownership of this wonderful natural resource that will improve as it matures in the years to come.’’
The community woodland has already drawn national recognition, being ‘highly commended’ in the new native wood category by Scotland’s Finest Woods.