I see this place where I live as a ‘Tale of 2 Torry’s’ really, close to the sea, an area of fascinating heritage, natural heritage and wildlife and a community passionate about where they live, ready to take up the challenges to preserve it. The other is the Torry that I see the area eroded and surrounded by unwanted industrial developments, sacrificed over the years for Aberdeen’s economy with little benefit to the locals. The announcement that the site of the ETZ was to include St Fittick’s Park and Doonies was a step too far and I had to add my voice and concerns so I became involved with Friends of St Fitticks to help in any way I could.
I’m Ishbel Shand. I was an artist for the first part of my working life, getting more and more concerned over the damage we were inflicting on the environment. Finally I realised that if I wanted to be taken seriously I needed a scientific education. It was far too easy in a city dominated by the Oil and Gas industry to tell the wee artist lassie that she’d got it all wrong, and she wasn’t living in the real world. I ended up with a BSc Hons in Plant and Soil Science (Aberdeen) and a PhD by Research (Biogeochemistry) from Cranfield. A scientific education didn’t stop me being patronised by numpties, but it did ramp up my concern level. The wetlands in St Fitticks Park are an example of how we should be responding to the climate emergency. I find the attempts by businessmen to use environmental arguments as leverage for their destruction morally repugnant. This is a speculative development scheme. If it goes ahead it will not provide “thousands of jobs”, or help the transition to net-zero. It will destroy biodiversity, destroy a sustainable urban drainage system, damage the historic environment, and deprive the people of Torry of a well-loved green space.
I’m an Honorary Torry Quine who loves green places, especially precious urban ones, and have got to know several people in Torry from volunteering at Cfine’s food bank and pantry. I’m fed up with ACC’s continuous development of grandiose projects citizens don’t want. These things made it impossible for me to resist seeing what Renee’s Hands off Our Torry Green Space was all about. Not long after I was asked to join what became the “Friends” steering group.
Hi my name is Hillary Kerr I have lived in Torry for many years, my husband and myself and my daughter, love living in Torry. My daughter went to Oscar Road Nursery then to Walker Road Primary School, then to Torry Academy.
We love St. Fittick’s Park and have walked there and my daughter has played in this area as she was growing up. I found our park a great benefit to myself and my family, during my last few years as I had to deal with having breast cancer and surgery and having our green space behind the house has helped me greatly keep my mind and body healthy and surviving.
Due to the pandemic the park has definitely kept me and my daughter going, enjoying walking through the park and watching out for the birds and other wildlife in and around St. Fitticks through these tough times. My daughter Stacy has taken up photography during this pandemic and has been taking photos while we were walking round St. Fittick’s Park and Torry Battery her photos were in Aabodys Torry. We would like to save St. Fittick’s Park from turning into yet another industrial estate, and have it as a conservation area that children and adults alike can enjoy, and have our last green space in Torry preserved. So future generations are able to enjoy our lovely natural habitat in the park.
I got involved with the Friends of St Fittick's after a chance meeting with Hillary (see above) at Girdleness. I was monitoring a number of species at St Fittick's at the time, and was distraught to find out that such a critical habitat and space for local people was under threat. Working in conservation (and previously in developmental ecology) I felt I might be able to be of some assistance to any effort to mitigate any damage that could be done to this important area I have a connection to - so am here now!
I got involved after I saw that St Fittick's Park ws being considered for an ETZ and that Sir Ian Wood was involved. I searched the Internet & found out that there was plans for industrial development to our precious green space. The plans gave little or no time for consultation for the local community and I decided to set up a Facebook group 'Hands Off Our Green Spaces In Torry' to gauge local feelings about the development. The anger became obvious and 'Friends Of St Fittick's Park' was established by members because of this concern.