Banchory set to look even bonnier

A Banchory group has been granted funding towards helping the town look its best as the Olympic torch passes through this summer.

Bonnie Banchory applied to Aberdeenshire Council’s Area Top Up Budget for £384 towards an additional watering unit for keeping the plants and flowering tubs in the town hydrated.

Marr Area Committee members heard from Marr Area Manager Les Allan at their meeting in Alford on Tuesday (March 6).

“The town does really well in keeping its flowers upto a really good standard and covers quite a wide area,” he said.

“Landscape Services (Aberdeenshire Council) support this request and in discussions with Bonnie Banchory, Landscape Services are proposing they purchase this unit and allow Bonnie Banchory to use it. That way, Bonnie Banchory don’t have to find any money to make up the shortfall.

“The Olympic Torch will be coming through Deeside and the world will be looking at Deeside, and any efforts to make Deeside look as good as it can look is important for tourism businesses and the residents themselves.”

Councillor Jill Webster (Banchory and Mid Deeside) said: “Bonnie Banchory does a fantastic job in Banchory, with a very small number of volunteers, including Councillor Linda Clark.

“This is a good way forward, that Landscape Services can be responsible for the equipment. Often, it’s maintenance that stops it happening, so it’s good that the money’ll go towards the watering unit. The Scolty Centre has done a great job watering the baskets.

Councillor Linda Clark (Banchory and Mid Deeside) said: “We’re so lucky on Deeside with our volunteers.

“I really enjoy the fact that we are working with the Scolty clients and it’s very important that we acknowledge working with people who are less able than we are - they fit in really well and everything looks great.”

Councillor Karen Clark (Banchory and Mid Deeside) said: “We do have a small watering machine at the moment, but the Scolty Centre find it hard to do the whole town because of the amount of tubs and flowers.

“It’s fantastic and I’d like to say thank you to Landscape Services for their help.”

Councillor Joanna Strathdee (Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford) said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea. My only concern is where is this equipment going to be kept, who manages it and who keeps the keys etc?”

Mr Allan said: That’d be a matter for discussion between Landscape Services and the group, but we don’t envisage any difficulty.”

Marr Area Committee chairwoman, Cllr Moira Ingleby, said: “We look forward to seeing a very Bonnie Banchory in the summer when the Olympic torch goes through.”

The Bonnie Banchory civic pride project has been formed under the umbrella of BDI to enhance and extend the floral decorations in Banchory town centre and other focal points around the town in association with Aberdeenshire Council, the Scolty Centre and Banchory businesses. The team believes a more attractive town will bring many benefits and the project has received widespread support.

Bonnie Banchory needs green fingers for planting and maintenance, people with large capacity vehicles to transport planted baskets and tubs, greenhouses to bring on plants, sponsors for tubs and baskets and donations towards the purchase of additional baskets, plants, bulbs, tubs and compost.

Anyone who can do any of these will automatically qualify to become a Friend of Bonnie Banchory. For further information, e-mail info@banchory.org or call (01330) 823856.

The Olympic torch is set to pass through Royal Deeside on Monday, June 11. It will begin its journey in Crathie, before moving through Ballater, Dinnet, Aboyne, Kincardine O’Neil, Banchory, Drumoak, Peterculter, Bieldside and Cults, ending with an evening celebration in Aberdeen.