Provost officially unveils new Aden playpark

Provost Bill Howatson cutting the ribbon with youngsters Iona and Findlay-James Bruce
Provost Bill Howatson cutting the ribbon with youngsters Iona and Findlay-James Bruce

Aberdeenshire Provost Councillor Bill Howatson officially opened an exciting new play area at Aden Country Park near Mintlaw on Friday.

The Provost was joined by Councillor Norman Smith, chair of the council's Buchan Area Committee, local councillors, project team, landscape services staff, Friends of Aden and supporting bodies for the official opening ceremony.

Children are already enjoying the new play facilities which include a wide range of equipment including a double cableway zip-slide, supernova, castle, basket and five-way swings, carousels, springers, seesaw, wobble bridge, sand diggers, farmer’s den, jeep and petrol station, parkour, hammock, balance posts, dome, space net, stilts, and toddler activity unit.

Most of the installed play equipment is DDA-accessible, with the addition of a fully accessible roundabout to ensure that children of all abilities can play together.

A photographic exhibition is being developed to showcase the various stages of the play park’s development which has been installed by Aberdeenshire Council’s Landscape Services.

Neil Shirran, Aden Project Co-ordinator, explained: “The new play area has been developed as part of the £2.13 million National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) Aden Country Park project which also supports the major restoration and redevelopment of both Aden’s historic buildings and landscape, planned improvements to park interpretation, accessibility and signage and a programme to enhance biodiversity.”

The development of the new play area has only been made possible with funding support from a wide range of organisations and individuals including The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), Scottish Landfill Communities Fund bodies - Viridor Credits, FCC Communities Fund and Easter Hatton Environmental - along with support from the Friends of Aden, Macduff Shellfish, Claymore Homes, Macbi Community Hub, Bancon Homes, Café at Aden, Colaren Homes, Mintlaw Vet Surgery, Hamish Watson, David Barron, and both cash and non-cash contributions from Aberdeenshire Council itself.

Commenting on the opening, Caroline Clark, director, Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: I’m delighted that players of The National Lottery have been able to support this superb new play area, which is a fantastic new asset for children and young people to enjoy, benefiting their health and wellbeing as well as stimulating their sense of fun and adventure as they explore this beautiful historic park.”

During his opening speech, Provost Howatson said: "Playgrounds provide a focal point for the local community to meet and socialise, but also provide a safe environment which encourages people to become healthier and more active. I hope these great facilities do this and are enjoyed for years to come."

Chair of the Buchan Area Committee, Councillor Norman Smith, added: “The opening of the new play area marks the completion of the first strand of the wider Aden project. It’s a real boost for the park and I’m sure the play area will prove to be a very popular attraction for visitors and the local community alike."