Ranger Report: Testing Trees for the Future
An ‘Action Plan’ for Ballater is drawing closer after a series of discussions and questionnaires involving the local community.
Following the success of the first Ballater Blethers, held on April 4, the second Blethers, which was again organised by the Ballater One Voice Our Future Working Group (BOVOF), went ahead on May 2.
The format of this meeting was for the community to highlight which items raised by the questionnaires merited deeper discussion. Its aim was to prioritise the emerging issues that would formulate the ‘Action Plan for Ballater’, which will ultimately emerge from the project.
Robin Blyth, Chairman of the Ballater and Crathie Community Council, said: “The questionnaires had given a good insight as to the wishes and concerns of much of the community. The return rate of completed questionnaires upon reaching 44% give a highly credible response to our request and are worthy of our thanks to all.”
He added: “The success of involving the Ballater School and the response from young persons has encouraged us to hold another aimed event for the youth of the community. Yet to be announced it will likely be held in the pavilion on Church Green, a venue agreeable and familiar with all. The timings for this will be given in the near future.
“This project evolving since November is moving towards its conclusion and it is hoped to produce the final report, the ‘Action Plan’ in the not so distant weeks. The report will contain all the issues raised and the how and the when they can be addressed. It will prioritise some quick win items and go on to secure the required funding to put them in place.”
The BOVOF project follows the setting up of a pilot scheme for the communities of Grantown, Cromdale, Dulnain and Advie by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) 18 months ago. It devised a ‘toolkit’ for the best way for the organisers to get local feedback and this method has been adopted in Ballater.