A bit more botany for beginners
Saturday 4 July was not just an important day in the release from lockdown, but marked #NationalMeadowsDay, an opportunity to celebrate one of the UK’s most beautiful, and now increasingly vanishing, habitats. The scale of loss of species rich grassland is incredible, with 7.5 million acres – that’s over 97% – of the UK’s meadows and other flower-rich grasslands lost since the 1930s. When you think that one acre of species-rich grassland can be home to nine million flowers on a single day in summer, that’s a lot of flowers, pollen and nectar as insect feed, missing from the countryside. While this in itself may seem a concern only to a few specialists, it’s actually a lot more important than that. Two thirds of all crop species are insect pollinated, and the lack of pollinators, especially bees, is causing serious financial loss worldwide. Wildlife agencies and charities are agreed that heavily mown grasslands are in effect, “green deserts”, providing very limited biodiversity and, particularly, food for insects, hence also restricting numbers of birds that would otherwise feed on these. For example, see Alys Fowler’s piece in the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2019/apr/24/why-you-should-turn-lawn-into-wildflower-meadow.
There are several areas within villages that with a bit less aggressive cutting and some planting could be transformed into something much more interesting. There may even be funding for this from organisations such as Grow Wild (https://www.growwilduk.com/).
If anyone is interested, my own bit of species-rich grassland is just coming towards its best.
Following the tremendous success of the online booking system for its HRCs, Aberdeenshire Council is now moving through the phases of its return to ‘normal’ services.
With the process working so well, the twice-weekly trips for cars, pick-ups and car-derived vans carrying bagged general waste and garden waste have been introduced to further increase household access to an HRC.
Meanwhile, from Wednesday, June 10 cardboard and glass will be accepted and from Monday, June 15 this will be extended to all usual waste materials – including mixed recycling, bulky items, oils, wood and metal. From June 15 we no longer require waste to be bagged.
However, please note that we cannot accept textiles at Inverurie, Huntly, Ellon and Westhill recycling centres at this stage as our contractor is unable to collect from these locations at present. These services will be reintroduced as soon as possible.
Residents will no longer be assigned to a bay, but are instead requested to take their materials into the correct skips while maintaining physical-distancing. The number of people visiting a centre at the same time has been limited to make sure this is possible.
From June 22, booking slots will be available for vans and trailers to access the centres. Residents should ensure they make a booking specifically for a van or trailer as they require more space than other vehicles.
Our Reuse containers at selected Household Recycling Centres remain closed at this time.
You can make your booking at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/recyclingcentrebookings
For those who do not have access to a computer, telephone booking can be made by calling Aberdeenshire Council’s Wasteline on 03456 081207.
The rules on physical-distancing remain and only one adult should unload a vehicle unless two adults are needed for heavy items.
Staff will be unable to assist with any unloading and there will be no pedestrian access and no children will be permitted outside vehicles.
The decision to re-open some of the facilities has been taken in accordance with Government guidelines and is based on measures being put in place to protect both visitors and staff and the agreement of traffic management plans.
The Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) now in operation are Peterhead, Macduff, Fraserburgh, Ellon, Inverurie, Huntly, Turriff, Westhill, Banchory, Laurencekirk, Portlethen and Redcloak at Stonehaven. Meanwhile, planning for the reopening of the smaller facilities at Insch and Portsoy continues.
Council waste manager Ros Baxter said: “Thanks to the new arrangements and the tremendous help and support of both residents and our staff, phase one of the reopening schedule has been an outstanding success.
“As we stressed from the start, that patience and understanding within our communities has enabled us to progress through the phases of reopening far quicker than planned, and allowed us to significantly increase the type of materials being accepted and the introduction of vans and trailers to our facilities.
“However, I would remind residents that the booking system is likely to remain in place as long as physical-distancing is required to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
Aberdeenshire Council has also reintroduced its seasonal garden waste points for the summer. They reopened on Saturday, June 6 with some new locations and opening times being introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
These sites are only to be used for grass clippings and small trimmings – not for larger trees and bushes which take up too much space. From June 15, such items can be taken to one of the Household Recycling Centres.
The seasonal garden waste recycling points operate on Saturdays from June 6 to October 31 at:
Aboyne: Station Square car park, 8am to 12pm and 12.30pm to 3pm from June 6-27 and 12pm to 3pm from July 4 onwards
Alford: Transport Museum car park, 8am to 12pm and 12.30pm to 3pm
Ballater: Roads Depot, South Deeside Road, 8am to 12pm and 12.30pm to 3pm from June 6 to 27 and 8am to 11am from July 4 onwards
Balmedie: Leisure Centre car park, Eigie Road 1pm to 4pm
Blackburn: School car park, Fintray Road, 8am to 11am
Inverbervie: Beach Front Car Park, off Kirkburn, 12pm to 3pm
Kemnay: Birley Bush Council depot, 8am to 11am
Kintore: Midmill School car park, Carnie Road, 1pm to 4pm
Mintlaw: Aden Country Park, 8am to 12pm and 12.30pm to 3pm
Newmachar: The Axis Centre, School Road, 8am to 11am
Newtonhill: Bettridge Centre car park, 8am to 11.40am
Oldmeldrum: Academy bus car park, Colpy Road, 1pm to 4pm
St Cyrus: Ecclesgreig Road Car Park, 8am to 11am
For more information on the Household Recycling Centres which are open and their operating times, visit https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/news/release.aspx…
Responsible Waste Disposal
“Information on changes to waste services is available on https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-covid-19/.
More info :
Council advises residents to dispose of waste responsibly during Covid-19 lockdown
With recycling centres and seasonal garden waste collection points suspended due to Coronavirus (Covid-19), Aberdeenshire Council is asking residents to follow Government guidance and manage their waste responsibly during this difficult time.
Unfortunately, it was necessary to close recycling centres on March 24th in line with Scottish Government’s advice. The sites were closed for the following reasons:
To discourage non-essential travel – we should only go out for food, health reasons and work (if home-working is not possible)
To focus resources on household waste collections, as service disruptions are expected as a result of Council staff illnesses
Trips to recycling centres are not considered essential travel based on government guidelines, so in the interest of public health and safety sites will not re-open until it is safe to do so.
With many of us now in lockdown at home, some households may be producing more waste than usual and the closure of recycling centres is making that more of a challenge than normal.
Residents should not be tempted to burn their waste or resort to fly-tipping. Residents and businesses should also be wary of unsolicited approaches from anybody offering to dispose of waste for a fee without checking the service is being provided by a licensed trader. This includes offers made on social media.
The Council is unable to collect loose bags and rubbish alongside household bins. All waste must be contained within bins, as handling bags and loose materials poses a direct health risk to bin crews.
If you’re struggling to cope with the amount of waste in your bins, below are some tips for maximising space:
Recycle as much as you can. Materials that are accepted in your household recycling bin include: Paper, card and cardboard; plastics (i.e. bottles, pots, tubs and trays); metals (i.e. tins, cans, aerosols and foil); and cartons (i.e. food and drink tetra-paks).
Take advantage of your food caddy for all food waste. This includes tea bags and coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peelings, out-of-date food (i.e. meat and fish), plate scrapings and leftovers, etc.
Compress your rubbish bags before putting them in your refuse bin. But please don’t be tempted to stand in your bins, as they’re tapered and your bags might get stuck and not empty into the lorry.
Break down recyclable goods (i.e. cereal boxes) and squish air out of bottles and plastic containers (i.e. milk cartons and juice bottles). You can also stack plastic pots or slot items inside each other to create extra space.
Avoid buying non-essential items or materials with excessive packaging, where possible.
If you’re making online purchases, any resulting boxes, bubble wrap or plastic wrapping can be safely stored out of your bins until the lockdown is lifted.
Glass bins are still being emptied, so take your glass with you to the supermarket when you go for your shop.
Think twice before starting a clear-out, as you may have to hold on to the waste until recycling centres reopen.
Ros Baxter, Waste Manager at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “As the weather gets nicer, many residents are beginning to garden and tidy up their outdoor space.
“The most environmentally friendly option for managing garden waste is home composting – garden waste can even be composted in a heap, or in a compost bin if you already have one. There is plenty of information available online for composting at home and building your own compost bin.
“If you only produce grass cuttings, try mixing them with an equal amount of shredded cardboard. They can also be used for mulching flower beds and nourishing the soil beneath hedges and bushes.
“We also ask residents to refrain from burning garden waste. Garden bonfires are detrimental to local air quality, may impact your health and that of your neighbours, along with adversely affecting neighbours with smoke and odour.”
Philip McKay, Head of Roads, Landscape, and Waste Services, added: “We understand many householders rely on our services, including the recycling centres, but these temporary changes have been necessary to protect the core kerbside collections. Please know we are doing our best to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on communities, but unfortunately there will need to be compromises until the restrictions are lifted.
“I commend all the hardworking waste staff for their dedication and flexibility. I would also like to thank members of the public for their support, patience and cooperation during this difficult time.”
For a complete list of materials that are accepted in your household recycling bin: http://bit.ly/Recycling-A-Z
For information and advice on home-composting: http://www.recycleforscotland.com/reduce/home-composting
For ideas on how to build a home compost bin by reusing materials:
For more information on changes to recycling and waste services during the Covid-19 outbreak, please see https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-covid-19/
Follow us on Facebook for regular service updates at http://facebook.com/AberdeenshireWaste/ or sign up for the myAberdeenshire app.
HADDO MEDICAL GROUP HAVE THIS CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION/UPDATE
Due to the evolving Coronavirus situation, Haddo Medical Group are taking proactive steps to minimise the exposure risk to all of our patients and staff. In line with this, we are actively trying to minimise footfall into the practice during this time.
• All requests for appointments will be triaged.
• Reception staff will continue to take details and you will be contacted by a clinician.
• If you require an appointment, please contact the surgery by telephone.
• More appointments will be dealt with over the telephone.
Please do not attend the surgery unless you have been advised to by a clinician.
If you have been advised to attend by a clinician, please do not be alarmed if they are wearing personal protective equipment.
If you develop new symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus infection please telephone the surgery for further advice prior to attending.
• If you already have a pre-booked appointment, you may be contacted to change this to a telephone appointment.
• If you are not contacted, please attend the surgery as normal.
• We might not have been able to contact you as for some patients we do not have an up to date number.
• Please ensure we have an up to date telephone number and where possible email address.
• You can still request prescriptions via the online service.
• To reduce your need to come to the Surgery, you can hand your prescription request directly to Tarves Pharmacy.
• Please indicate which pharmacy you would like your prescription to be sent to for collection.
• Where possible, do not take your prescription request to the surgery.
Attending the Surgery
• Unless you specifically need a carer with you, please attend the surgery alone.
As per current government instructions, if you develop a new / or continuous cough- with or without a fever, please stay at home for 14 days from the start of your symptoms even if they are mild.
At present, GP practices have no ability to test for Coronavirus. Information about most medical conditions, including Coronavirus, can be found online at NHS inform
Many of us will likely only experience mild symptoms, however it is absolutely vital that we do all we can to protect the most vulnerable people in our community. We are aware that this is a very difficult time and appreciate your patience and understanding as this situation evolves.
Please note that these are unprecedented times and we ask that all patients remain calm while all NHS Services are
put under additional strain.
Haddo Medical Group
The Tarves Community Plan is now published. This informs Aberdeenshire Council and its Community Planning Partners such as the NHS, Police Scotland, Scottish government agencies about what the Community of Tarves thinks about its community and needs.
Please click on the link to download a copy.
Please contact Tarves Community Council or Tarves Development Trust who have co-sponsored the document with thanks to Aberdeenshire Council and the Formartine Partnership for the help in production.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE – FILL IN THIS SURVEY
There are just a few days left to respond to Aberdeenshire Council’s transport survey. The Council is doing a ‘clean sheet’ consultation about services and what is required by Aberdeenshire’s citizens.
Please click on the link below to the Aberdeenshire Council Transport survey. The closing date is next Monday 9th December 2019. So people still have time to give their valuable view on the future of Bus Services in Aberdeenshire.
Cllr Paul Johnston