Countesswells community set creativity in stone

11th September 2020

Inspired by its creative and resilient residents, an Aberdeen town has hosted a small community event where residents hand-painted rocks and pebbles to create a Countesswells’ 2020 lockdown snake.


The local event at Countesswells which was carried out under current guidelines outlined by the government, saw over 50 children from the growing town join community liaison officer, Karen Watt, by appointment outdoors, where families could safely distance and decorate their own rock to contribute to the overall snake design.

Inspiration behind the event was to build on the Countesswells Rocks project, started by resident Gail Hughes during the country’s strictest lockdown earlier this year.

Residents were invited to get creative and paint their rocks with various pictures, to help boost the morale of members of the public, when they were out for daily exercise.

Gail explained: “I started up Countesswells Rocks as a small passion project last year. The idea was to paint rocks and hide them around the community for people to find and enjoy. They could then take the rock home as a souvenir or hide it for someone else to find.

“Soon enough, I asked neighbours and the wider community to get involved by sharing their uncovered rock on our Facebook group or painting their own and placing it in the community. The group now has over 60 members, and I love finding the works of stone art when I’m out and about.”

The rocks took on a new meaning during lockdown when the community began decorating their rocks as acts of solidarity and appreciation of the NHS and key workers during the global pandemic.

Over 100 rocks have now been designed and will be placed together to form a snake pattern to be displayed at Countesswells award-winning playpark.

Gail added: “I’m looking forward to seeing all the new rocks placed together to create one large design, representing the community coming together.”

Karen Watt, community liaison officer at Countesswells Development Limited said: “It was a really special moment to watch the community come together again as the children, and even some parents created art masterpieces with their rocks.

“Seeing the residents support each other during these unprecedented times is a testament to the amazing community spirit at Countesswells. The idea to set the rocks came from a desire to create something memorable, that can literally be set in stone as a reminder that sometimes the worst of times can bring out the best in people.”