Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

Are you new to blogging, and do you want step-by-step guidance on how to publish and grow your blog? Learn more about our new Blogging for Beginners course and get 50% off through December 10th.

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Climate Week North East 21: 12th – 21st March

A host of activities, some serious and some more light-hearted, are always run during Climate Week NE. Despite arrangements needing to reflect the current situation, there will be lots going on for adults and young people both outside and online. The full brochure is available at-


Wildlife gardening, the future of hydrogen, yoga for kids, online craft sessions, energy saving workshops, forestry in Scotland and much, much more- take your pick! Lots of different things to relieve what we all hope will be the last weeks of lockdown.

An exciting opportunity for a freelance worker

To help move with a changing world, Udny Climate Action has received a small amount of funding to-

  • organise and run online ‘climate cafes’ and publicise these to groups and individuals in the Parish.
  • develop a more comprehensive engagement and communications strategy.

To deliver these initiatives, UCA is looking to recruit a person, on a freelance basis, who is able to demonstrate that he/she –

  • can engage effectively with community groups and individuals.
  • has wide experience in the use of various communication and marketing systems, particularly online and social media platforms.
  • can develop material and online presentations.
  • has organisational skills and the ability to deliver projects on time.

The contract will involve working on a flexible basis for 80 hours between April and August 2021.

The contract will be on a freelance basis and payment will be £17p.h.

Closing date: 15th March 2021

For details of how to apply or to discuss informally please contact George Allan- allan@kanga.eclipse.co.uk (01651 842402)

community fridge

What do you feel about reducing food waste and empowering communities?

Have you heard about a community fridge?

A community fridge is a tried and testing way to stop food ending up in the bin. It is located in an open, accessible public place making surplus food available to anybody in the local community who wants to use it. The surplus food is provided by local businesses, supermarkets or members of the public. The fridge has strict monitoring guidelines, based on advice from the Food Standard Agency and the Council’s Environmental Health team, to ensure it has the highest quality standards.

Did you know that the average family of four wastes £720 of food a year! Community fridges can help reduce food waste and foster a spirit of sharing and mutual support within a community. A small group of local residents have come together to explore the idea of a community fridge in Pitmedden. We would love to know your thoughts. Please take a few minutes to answer the survey below, all entries must be completed by 14 March 2021. Thank you. #pitmeddencommunityfridge



Scottish Water teams are working hard to trace and repair leaks across water networks in the north-east, following the impacts of last week’s extreme low temperatures and the thaw now underway.

Local response teams are continuing to work across the region to maintain normal service for customers wherever possible. They are appealing for customers and property owners to help in locating leaks, whether on the public water network or in private plumbing.

They are particularly asking customers in these areas to check any empty properties, business premises, holiday homes, basements, out houses, field troughs or garden taps to identify where there may be any burst pipes.

Leaks and bursts within vacant premises could result in flooding and damage to properties and Scottish Water is encouraging all customers to check, where possible in line with current Covid-19 travel guidelines.

Where customers are aware of leaks or bursts on the public water network, they are asked to contact Scottish Water with as much detail of the location as possible. Issues can be reported via the online reporting portal on Scottish Water’s website at www.scottishwater.co.uk/report.

Urgent road closure C1C Hill of Ardo 18 January 2021 known as Minnes Road.

Please be advised that C1C Hill of Ardo will be subject to a closure from 18 January 2021 for 3 days between 08:30-15:00, to allow safe working on the carriageway for urgent drainage works to be carried out by Aberdeenshire Council. A signed diversion will be via B977 (Belhelvie), B977 (Aberdeen), B999 (Tarves), C2C (Udny Station), C1C (Belhelvie) and vice versa.

Please see link to map below.


Please be aware, this is the Bus Route. Please check with Stagecoach for changes.

F1785 Temporary Restriction – Form of Notification and Site Notice.pdf

Historic Pitmedden Garden to grow into modern mecca for nature fans

by John Ross, Press and Journal, January 15, 2021,

Sign up for our daily newsletter featuring the top stories from The Press and Journal.

Plans to reinvent a popular Aberdeenshire attraction will be rolled out this spring.

Planting will begin to redevelop Pitmedden Garden and help it grow into a model for a modern and sustainable attraction in a historic setting.

The National Trust for Scotland has unveiled plans to “reinterpret” the classic parterre garden for a modern audience and changing climate.

The garden dates back to 1675 when it was originally laid out by Sir Alexander Seton. In the 1950s the trust re-created the garden based on 17th-century plans of the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Now it is being updated with the help of renowned landscape architect Chris Beardshaw, the Beechgrove Garden presenter and Chelsea Flower Show garden designer.

The charity plans to develop the upper parterres to bring a more naturalistic style of design within the famous formal garden, known for its immaculate presentation and neat box hedges.

Plans for the project, which has been possible due to a “generous donor”, started in 2018.

Progress has been impacted by Covid-19, but planting preparations are now well under way. Archaeology and geophysics experts have been consulted to ensure that no hidden historical structures will be affected.

Gardens and landscape advisor Chris Wardle said: “We saw a chance to depart from formality and the normal. The plan was to look at reinterpreting the style to a new audience.

“We wanted to look afresh at this nationally important and quality horticultural garden at Pitmedden and what it contained, to take the opportunity to re-model and redefine the current design to satisfy the demands of modern visitors.”

Another important aim for the project is to ‘future proof’ the garden by focusing on modern gardening styles, biodiversity, responsible resource management and climate change.

The team reviewed the historic relevance and importance of the garden to ensure that the approach enhanced the current garden.

The new project will focus on the upper terraces, which were redesigned in the 1990s and are no longer felt to fit with the garden.

Mr Wardle added: “It was this part of the garden that really gave us the opportunity to think differently.

“The new design will have more movement, seasonality and is more modern in its look and feel. We hope this will help make the garden more accessible to people who do not have a lot of gardening knowledge.”

The design has been created by Mr Beardshaw who has conducted detailed historical research to create a unique scheme for the garden which reflected its past and added to the garden for the future.

He has drawn on the layout of the famous Vaux la Vicomte near Paris, which was established around the same time as Pitmedden, for inspiration, including the scrolls and swirls of this complicated layout.

He said: “From a horticultural perspective the proposed parterre will become an exemplar, the largest in the UK, of an approach that balances beauty and biodiversity with sustainability and a changing climate, as well as the careful considerations needed in a historic setting of this importance. It’s a delicate equilibrium.”

The National Trust for Scotland would like to thank Professor Ian Young and his wife Sylvia, who enjoyed a long association with and deep love of Aberdeenshire, for supporting this place.

Originally acquired by James Seton in 1603, the elaborate and formal garden was laid out by his second son and daughter-in-law, Alexander and Margaret Lauder from 1675.

A distinguished lawyer, knighted in 1664 by Charles II, Alexander undoubtedly drew on connections with his mentor the 3rd Earl of Winton and architect Sir William Bruce and it is suggested that he latter significantly influenced the formal layout of the gardens.

As a Royalist in exile, Bruce was known to have visited Andre le Notre at Vaux le Vicomte and later Versailles to absorb the high French Classical style.

Bruce completed designs for Holyrood House for Charles II in 1671 with gardens being laid out at Holyrood 1668-74. The extent to which Bruce was mimicking le Notre’s style is uncertain but the mid-17th century designs for Holyrood House depict extensive parterres.

Although no detail is evident of the formal gardens, the plans from mid-19th century show a geometric and formal structure of landscape spaces with indications of the lower terrace walls and associated buildings.