The first of more than 600 trees being planted at the new community of Countesswells have arrived on site as part of a multi-million pound investment in landscaping.
Countesswells will be one of the most green and attractive places to live in Aberdeen. The new trees, an orchard and wildflower meadow are being planted over the coming weeks as part of the first phase of development. More than 4.5 hectares of new, public space and parkland is now being created, alongside the first streets, pavements and supporting utilities.
The first phase of the parkland being developed includes almost 600 metres of new burn channel, more than 1.7 kilometres of new paths, four new bridges over the burn, an orchard, playpark and areas of amenity lawn.
The new trees now being planted include Scots pine, birch, oak, lime, horse chestnut, alder, hornbeam, rowan, cherry and willow. They will add to the appeal of the woodland areas being created on what is currently low-grade arable land with only one or two species of trees.
More than one hectare of wildflower turf and seeding will also be planted with 34 UK native wildflowers and grasses. The plants in flower will vary through the spring and summer and the types of plants that flower year to year will depend upon the temperature, moisture and available nutrients. As is the case with true wildflower meadows, no two years will be the same, giving a constantly changing landscape with high biodiversity.
Countesswells will comprise 3,000 homes – ranging from apartments to detached homes – set around a distinctive series of public squares and parks, well connected with pathways and cycle routes that will link new schools, leisure and health facilities, as well as retail and business space.
Around one quarter of the 165-hectare Countesswells’ site will ultimately be dedicated to open space including four main parks, which enhance the existing landscape features.
Jim Fitzsimons, Countesswells Project Director, said “The arrival of the first of the new trees on site is a significant milestone in the transformation of Countesswells into a living and breathing new community.
“Green space is at the heart of Countesswells, ensuring that residents will enjoy the social, health and economic benefits of living in a high quality environment. The parkland has been carefully located to connect the community and the neighbouring Hazlehead Woods and Countesswells Woods. These features are being delivered before the first homes are built to allow an early establishment of the landscape setting.
“The early investment in landscape demonstrates our focus on the quality of environment here. The landscape and green spaces will have taken root and be starting to flourish by the time many new residents move in. It’s already exciting to see the green spaces coming to life as it really sets the context for what Countesswells represents,” said Mr Fitzsimons.