Offenders on an unpaid work assignment and local residents have seen their hard work pay off with the completion of a community garden.
Several working groups made up of offenders serving Community Payback Orders (CPOs) have worked alongside Tarland residents on the village garden project since the spring of 2012.
The work included landscaping, building sheds and constructing raised beds including wheelchair accessible ones.
To date the offenders have completed approximately 700 unpaid hours on this project alone.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council Social Work and Housing Committee Cllr Karen Clark said: “This is a great example of where offenders can pay for their crimes by helping the local community. It not only provides the community with a superb garden but also gives the people serving Community Payback Orders work experience and a work ethic.”
Kate Redpath from Tarland Development Group added: “This has been a real team effort and it is great to see the results of the hard work that everyone has put in. A 1/4 acre field has been transformed into an inspirational and thriving community garden and it is fair to say we could not have done it without the help of the people serving their community payback order.”
In 2012/13, Aberdeenshire Council’s Criminal Justice Service managed 486 CPOs, compared with 297 for the previous year.