Beautiful Stonehaven

By Jane Cruickshank / August 8, 2022
blue skies show how sunny the day was for everyone

MEDITERRANEAN sunshine was the finishing touch today, when Beautiful Scotland judges visited the town to admire the work of volunteers from across the community who co-operated and conspired to have Stonehaven looking its very best.

The route took in the train station, wildflower parkland, the Men’s Shed, Open Air Pool, Burns Garden, Market Square and onto the boardwalk and harbour. Along the way, judges Sandy Scott and Adrian Miles met with locals who discussed the points of interest and gave heritage and background information.

Wild about flowers

Wildflowers featured prominently with Horizon volunteer Kirby Porter presenting on the diversity of flora at our boardwalk. Earlier this year, Kirby conducted a survey and found over 50 different specimens.

And a long-lost Stonehaven botanist was resurrected by writer Alistair Lawrie, who discovered the town was the birth place of a man renowned in his time as a collector of wildflowers. Born in 1794, John Duncan was hailed by Charles Darwin as a ‘fellow botanist’.

Alistair has written a short story about Duncan’s life and work – this features in a project undertaken by the Mearns Writers to put together a walking route around the town with poetic recitations to be accessed and enjoyed. Funding for a leaflet has recently been secured, so this should be a welcome addition to days out in the town and hopefully a successful entry in the Beautiful Scotland Year of Stories Award.

With Doric flair, Alistair Lawrie brings Stonehaven born botanist John Duncan to life

Junior chef is recipe for success

After a tour of inspection lasting two and a half hours, a cup of tea was a welcome conclusion. Mackie Academy’s work towards environmental accreditation was showcased with the help of Phoebe Lawson. The fifteen-year-old made a study of the herbs available around the town in public gardens and planters – and put together a recipe book using those herbs, including freshly baked cheese and chive scones that were served to the suitably appreciative judges.

Horizon covenor John Cruickshank said he was delighted with the way the judging visit went.

”I think we smashed it out of the park,” he said. ”The town is looking absolutely fabulous. I am totally delighted at all the support shown for Stonehaven’s entry in Beautiful Scotland. We just have to keep our fingers crossed now until September, when we get the results.”

Feature image Phoebe Lawson’s cheese and chive scone were a tasty treat for judges Adrian Miles and Sandy Scott.