In March 2014, Huntly and District Development Trust (HDDT) completed the purchase of Greenmyres Farm on behalf of the local community. The farm consists of 63 acres of grazing land, a farmhouse and associated outbuildings situated just off the A96 some 4 miles south-east of Huntly. Financing for the purchase was provided mostly by a grant from the Scottish Land Fund, a Scottish Government initiative to help communities become more sustainable through the purchase of land and buildings.
We’ve now had two engaging and interesting community consultations on the activities and uses the citizens of AB54 would like to see implemented at Greenmyres. Thanks to all who contributed for the wide range of ideas generated.
The ‘visions’ consultation was useful and informative. Although the public didn’t have a clear winner, all three approaches to development at Greenmyres were enthusiastically received and made us realise that we’re on the right track with our ideas for future development. And with the turbine now approved and due to be built in 2016 the future is looking promising for Greenmyres.
We’ve turned our attention to getting Greenmyres up and running for community, and wider use. It’s immediately important to get a building up on site, with a full range of services; a meeting space and a training/classroom to allow events, workshops, festivals and regular club sessions to take place for local groups, schools, HDDT and interested organisations.
The building will include many appropriate green technologies to complement the renewable energy production on site. It is designed to be inclusive to all, both inside and on an external walk round the landscaped pond.
To date lots of local groups, and a number of NE based services, have confirmed their interest in using this facility. Please get in TOUCH if you’d like to find out more about hiring the building, or if you’d be interested in discussing the project.
THE PERFECT PLACE FOR COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS…
We’ve hosted two very successful community support days at Greenmyres in 2015. Just as summer sprang into life we had 20 Bank of Scotland helpers up to the farm for a great afternoon’s work. Split into groups, and kept on track by skilled volunteers from the Greenmyres Working Group, they managed to whitewash some of the farmhouse, shred some rogue spruce trees for mulch and build a new crossing, which we’ve named Banker’s Bridge, over the burn to the pond.
Then, in August, we hosted 40 volunteers from the Hutton Institute in Aberdeen. Academics from all over Europe gathered at the Hutton for a three day congress organised by the European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS). The delegates had the opportunity to spend an afternoon volunteering for and learning about community projects spread over the city and shire.
We have also had other volunteer days with local volunteers helping with essential jobs around the pond area.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY…
The Greenmyres Working group for paths, under the direction of Ronald Pittendrigh and Hazel McLaren, have been working hard to bring an attractive path back into use for walkers and cyclists
over Cot Hill, connecting BaHill to the Gartly Road at Bothwellseat. The path had been taken over by gorse but Ronald’s team, with a little help from Lee Ennis’s bobcat, battled over 6 months to return the path to its picturesque and tranquil state. It was formally opened on a gloriously warm afternoon with a celebratory walk and cake by Rhynie Woman as part of the Huntly Hairst and now enjoys a steady stream of dog walkers, cyclists and ramblers.
We are currently pursuing a direct link into Gartly Moor from Greenmyres and are investigating various ways we could access Greenmyres directly from Huntly in a safe way for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.