1st April - Jock O Bennachie Café Given the Green Light!

April 2021

Last night, Aberdeenshire Councillors voted unanimously in favour of a new outdoor café near the summit of Mither Tap. This new facility will be a social enterprise hub, run by The Bailies of Bennachie and local volunteers. It will be built using granite sourced from the once bustling quarry at little Oxen Craig.

The Bailies of Bennachie have been planning this café for several years and see it as a great opportunity for outdoor visitors to maximise their enjoyment of the hill and the views from the summit terraces before making their way home.

Jackie Cumberbirch, Chair of the Bailies of Bennachie, said "this café will be a fantastic addition to the hill, a 'cherry on the tap' if you like, all profits from which will be put straight back into maintaining the ecology, natural history, and sites of historical and cultural significance on the hill."

The Jock o' Bennachie Café (named after the famous giant that supposedly lived on the hill) will be the first café in Scotland to be powered by bio-fuel. Jackie explained that over the last few years the levels of rubbish, particularly dog waste, had increased on Bennachie so much so that turning turds into power is now a feasible solution, representing a win-win situation.

Jackie said that "so many visitors have been complaining about the large number of rubbish and poo bags hanging in trees or being left behind in verges, less and less people seem to be picking up after their dogs. All rubbish left on the hill is not good for wildlife and is becoming a real anti-social problem". The Bailies intend to turn a negative into a positive however, using the entrepreneurial engineers and scientists amongst them, who have developed an anaerobic digestion power unit that captures gas from the decaying organic matter, turning it (together with all the other rubbish left on the trails) into electricity for the new cafe. It is estimated that the on average 5te of poo left on the hill each month should be enough to run the café, with the remainder being sold off to National Grid.

The Bailies would like to appeal to everyone to help clean up Bennachie. They kindly ask you not to let your waste go to waste – please place your rubbish and dog poo in the bins provided around the hill, alternatively put it in a bag and take it home. This rubbish can then be used to power the new café if collected in bins.

The Bailies anticipate that the Jock o' Bennachie café will have opened its doors by end of June 2021, when warm Bennachie buns and coffee will be available on 'tap'.

For more news please see our current News, News 2021 and Events sections.

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