Bailies News


Save Bennachie

The Bailies of Bennachie support Save Bennachie in their campaign against the A96 duelling near Bennachie


November 2017 Public Meeting and AGM

October 2017

Amazingly the Save Bennachie Campaign is about to enter its third year. Our constitution requires us to hold a public meeting/AGM at this time. Therefore, we would like to invite you to attend on Thursday 23rd November at the Chapel of Garioch Village Hall at 7pm.

The format for the evening will be to very quickly run through the formal AGM. The rest of the session will include a short progress report on the campaign so far, and invite your feedback on our strategies and marketing materials including banners, car stickers, and flyers, and have open discussion around what we have all learned from attending the Meet the Team Sessions. We very much want to hear your ideas for the way forward. With your suggestions, we can plan the focus for the 2018 Campaign.


Bennachie: Understand Stones, hear the Stories and relive the Past

The Bailies of Bennachie received this year a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Stories, Stones and Bones grant as part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Throughout the year the Bailies have been working with both Smart History and Aberdeen University to tell the story in different ways from drama, music to a mobile application about the Bennachie Colonists, who were people that lived  on the lower slopes of Mither Tap, Bennachie from 1800 – 1939

This grant has enabled the Bailies of Bennachie to undertake various projects; some of which are still ongoing.

The Bailies who have been helped by Smart History, based at St Andrews, to create a mobile application about the Bennachie Colonists which shows what the homes of the Bennachie Colonist would look like in 1860. The reconstruction of their homes is based on research using Lidar surveys, archaeology and archival research. The Bailies hope to release this free mobile application in Spring 2018 after a trail in Winter 2017/8.

Starting next month on Saturday 25 November and Sat 2 December 2017 meeting at The Bennachie Visitor Centre, near Chapel of Garioch,  the Bailies with help from anyone interested in tree planting will start to plant a native foraging woodland in the fields at Shepherd’s Lodge.  After the colonists left the slopes of Bennachie, many of the Colonists cultivated fields were planted in trees by The Forestry Commission. In recent years, these trees have been cut down.  Rather than recreating the past fields the Bailies and Forestry Commission Scotland have decided to plant an open woodland, that also protects the old field stone dykes, but plant trees that will eventually bear fruit such as apple trees, hazel and gean (wild cherry) thus creating an edible woodland in keeping with the Bennachie Colonist tradition of growing their own food.

On Saturday 25 November there will also be an opportunity to plant fruit bushes in the kailyard ( kitchen garden) at Shepherd’s Lodge. 

The Bailies are keen to hear from anyone who would like to get involved in tree or shrub planting, tools and a free lunch is provided on both days and anyone interested should telephone the Bailies on 07799658209 or email

Commenting, Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said:

“The Heritage Lottery Fund is a key partner in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and it was our ambition that people of all ages would have the chance to discover something new about the heritage they care about. With almost 100 projects happening across the country, over 15,000 people have done just that. We’re delighted that, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, The Bailies of Bennachie are part of that celebration, opening the door to fun, learning and everlasting memories for many people as we celebrate this special year.”



Kailyard Reconstruction

“Another active day for volunteers at the Kailyard and so lucky with the weather again!  The main jobs for the day were adding manure to the plot and erecting fencing to keep out deer and dogs.  The fence is being constructed from waste brash lying around Shepherds Lodge, so volunteers spent much of their time collecting material.  The basic structure of the fence is now underway and volunteers will continue with this over the coming weeks.  Some work was also done clearing back the unwanted summer growth especially down the footpath leading to the well, which had become almost lost beneath the undergrowth.”


The Bailies Bennachie Landscapes Archaeology Group


        The Bailies Bennachie Landscapes Archaeology Group have been busy digging over the summer  months
1. Work proceeding at the dig with more early walls appearing
2. Barry and Brain digging ever deeper with Alistair finding a cannonball in the same area
3. Medieval Mason’s mark noted by Iain during excavation on a dressed stone block from an early building and subsequently reused in building remodeling
4. Cannonball – By the end of the day when all were thinking of packing-up Alistair found this nice little find inspiring us all to work on


This group of plant hunters spent Saturday taking a detailed look at plants, and sampling the vegetation communities on Bennachie to fit them into the National Vegetation Classification. The project is one of the training courses funded by the Bailies and the players of the People's Postcode Lottery.