Ellon park project approved

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An ELLON group has been given the go-ahead by councillors to improve an area of the town.

The Friends of McDonald Park have secured a five-year lease of the site of the former Turnishaw Cottage to form a woodland garden.

The move was approved by members of Formartine Area Committee at their meeting on Tuesday.

The Friends are seeking grants for the project and applied to the committee to lease the site, as Aberdeenshire Council now holds the park in trust as the succeeding body to the former councils. The garden will be developed in conjunction with the school.

The former cottage site, situated to the west of Golf Road and forming part of McDonald Park, was transferred in trust to the Provost, magistrated and councillors of the Burgh of Ellon in 1928 by James Gordon McDonald under the Blench Charter.

Committee members heard on Tuesday that the group wanted to establish a woodland garden to enhance the park and benefit the community.

The Friends were formed in 1994 and their aim is to support the management of McDonald Park for the people of Ellon.

A report before councillors stated: “The grant of a lease of the site is considered to be within the terms of the deed as it is not of an extraordinary length and the nature of the proposed works is consistent with the primary use of the park, would further advance the interests of an add to the benefit of the park, and be likely to increase the public enjoyment of the park.”

Formartine area manager Keith Newton said it would create an asset for the town.

He added: “It will restore a semi-derelict area and create a new attraction for the park.”

The provisional terms of the lease include a rent of £1 annually, the use of the site would be for a woodland garden, the Friends would be responsible for the future management and maintenance of the leased area, and the site must not be fenced or access restricted in any way.