Residents of Countesswells have been encouraged to get their fingers green this summer after developers behind the town donated almost £900 worth of plants to the growing community.
With the community joining the rest of Scotland and the UK in lockdown, unable to do much outside of their own homes, Countesswells Development Limited, the planners behind the new town, has donated 100 potted plants and herbs for residents to grow and nurture at home.
Project director Martin Dalziel explained: “Countesswells is unlike any other project of its kind and scale in the country. We have a singular vision to create one of the greenest, most community-oriented and attractive places to live in North-east Scotland.
“Throughout lockdown we have been delighted to hear of the fantastic community initiatives that residents have taken upon themselves. This has included offering neighbourly help to pick up shopping or collecting prescriptions, as well as more creative outputs to put a smile on others faces.”
Residents have also shared puzzles from their garden and decorated rocks across the community that recognise the efforts of the NHS and key workers, as well as create a connecting rock ‘snake’ in the orchard.
“The community have pulled together and it’s been heart-warming to see. We decided we wanted to give something back and came up with the idea of offering potted plants and herbs for residents to collect.” added Martin.
“It is well documented that gardening is beneficial for your mental and physical health, and that plant life can actively lower stress and lift mood. Something we’re sure everyone is grateful of during these challenging times.”
Resident and mum of two, Kelly Ogston has been isolating at home with her fiancé and children for ten weeks.
She explained: “Lockdown has had its up and down days. I’ve loved being able to spend time with my partner and girls. We’ll never get this time as a family again, so we want to make the most of it and have done so with walks to the woods and making dens and picnics together.
Since moving to Countesswells in 2018, Georgia-Rose (5) and Ellie-Jane (2) have developed a huge appreciation for the outdoors and Ms Ogston explained how you rarely find them anywhere else but in the back garden or playing by the stream on the family’s doorstep.
“When Countesswells offered plants for us to take home, we jumped at the opportunity to try something new for lockdown. It’s a lovely gesture and has made me want to get some more for my garden and get into growing some nice flowers with the girls. They’re excited to help look after it and see how it blossoms.
As Aberdeen’s newest town, surrounded by roaming woodland and connecting pathways, Countesswells makes it easy for residents to enjoy the outdoors. Since its inception, planners and architects of Aberdeen’s newest town have prioritised the land and ecoculture when designing the community and this was seen with the inclusion of Cults Burn Park and community orchard as part of the town’s initial infrastructure.