Princess visits Pitcaple project

The Princess Royal tours the Pitskurry garden project at Pitcaple.
The Princess Royal tours the Pitskurry garden project at Pitcaple.
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THE Princess Royal has visited a garden project in Aberdeenshire for adults with learning disabilities.

She unveiled a plaque on Wednesday (February 29) at Pitscurry, near Pitcaple, a partnership project run by Aberdeenshire Council and Pitcaple Environmental Project Ltd.

The princess was welcomed by Vice Lord-Lieutenant Joyce Mackie, along others including with PEP chairman Colin Stirling and Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson.

Opportunities and training are provided in the garden, woodworking and on arts and crafts activities for around 100 service users a week with various special needs and learning disabilities.

The Harlaw Day Centre in Inverurie provides day services for people with disabilities based in and around the area.

Mr Howatson said: “This innovative facility has much to offer people with disabilities as well as local residents.

“It is an honour to welcome the Princess Royal to this fantastic project and to show her what has been achieved over the past few years as well as future plans for expansion.”

Mr Stirling said: “The garden has shown what can be achieved through partnership working between not only the service users from Harlaw but also through the huge commitment from a team of working partners, local industry and volunteers.

“We are providing meaningful and real opportunities for people with disabilities going beyond buildings in a community facility that encourages true integration and showcases the work that people with disabilities do.”

The Pitscurry project has grown from derelict ground as an ex-council nursery site and has been developed over the years to provide a number of uses within the six-acre site such as an apiary, sensory garden, vegetable plot and workshop space.

There are plans to build a café, shop and renewable energy centre and encourage the public, schools and colleges to visit both for learning and leisure.