Probus Club hears of castle gardens plans

Local businessman Dominic Fairlie was guest speaker at Ellon Probus Club on June 13.

The subject of Dominic’s talk was how Ellon Castle Gardens could be developed as an asset for the village in coming years.

Following a potential developmental survey for Ellon carried out by the Prince’s Foundation in 2007, everything went into an apparent state of hibernation until approvals were gained to put houses in the highly visible hill-top fields at the back of Ellon Castle. This work is now proceeding on apace.

Unfortunately for the developers, as part of this real estate deal, they were saddled with doing something to enhance and provide access to Ellon Castle Gardens which hold several features that are listed by Historic Scotland and also a number of yew trees that are centuries old.

The development of the gardens has been proposed several times over the last two decades but with no positive outcome.

Current thinking is that a Charitable Trust is set up which, with some funding from developers, would allow the community to run, manage and maintain the gardens. Ultimately this Trust would be fully independent and operate with no assistance from the developer.

It was emphasised that now is the time for people of Ellon to express their interest in the gardens, particularly with a view to becoming Garden Trustees.

Dominic went on to describe his personal vision of Ellon in future years, causing a few eyebrows to be raised with some rather radical ideas and comparisons between Ellon and other Northeast villages. A vote of thanks was given by Duncan MIlne.

The next meeting is on June 27 when Gordon Hay will talk on The Doric Bible - local born and bred members will be on hand to provide translation for our non-local members

***Developers and members of the Ellon community met last week to discuss the future of the Castle Gardens with a view to opening up communication with local people.

Scotia and Barratt Homes, who own the gardens, convened a meeting of interested individuals.