Buckie Roots branch out as ambitious projects await
AFTER just over a year of striking success, a Buckie community group are striking out on their own from their parent body as they eye even more ambitious projects to benefit the town.
In June last year Friends of Buckie Square (Fobs) was formed by local resident Meg Jamieson as a sub group of Buckie and District Community Council (BDCC), on which she serves, after seeing a large number of complaints about the dowdy and neglected state of Cluny Square. The dedicated team of volunteers set about planting flowers and looking at other improvements for the square.
Soon after, an offshoot group, Buckie's Roots, were formed with a wider remit of regenerating the green spaces around Buckie.
Now Buckie's Roots have taken the step of moving out of the BDCC umbrella and strike out on their own, albeit while still retaining a strong and close working relationship.
Reflecting on the road both taken and ahead was Buckie's Roots chairwoman Meg Jamieson.
She told the Advertiser: "We've come a long way in the last year or so, I don't think any of us dreamed we'd be where we are now.
"Buckie's Roots is a charity now and going out on our own will allow us to do a lot more outwith the boundaries of the square, to expand our remit. Fobs will still run and we'll be maintaining a very close relationship with the community council.
"Moving forward we're always on the lookout for more funding – we've already had success from Tesco developer obligations fund – and volunteers are always welcome."
From starting off as a few dedicated souls with trowels the group now have their own patch of land at the Phoenix Centre on Queen Street which they have leased from Moray Council where they have installed polytunnels to grow and nurture plants to be put in place next year.
They are currently seeking public opinion for a focal feature to instal at the start/terminus of the Speyside Way between North High Street and the Cluny Place car park. This would hopefully encourage those completing the walk to take their photo there and help raise the profile of the area. Funding for this has been sourced from the Bucks4Buckie scheme and Buckie's Roots are also keen to hear from local firms who would b interested on working with them on this or other projects.
"We've got lots of plans looking ahead, we just need the funding and the volunteers to do it," Mrs Jamieson added.
One of those wishing them well was BDCC chairman Kevin McKay.
"We initially took Fobs under our wing for insurance purposes but it wasn't long before we realised that Cuny Square wasn't the only area being neglected and decided to form Buckie's Roots," he commented.
"It's remarkable the work they've done in such a short time and it's been a real pleasure working alongside them and helping them get to where they are.
"They deserve the recognition of a standalone group. If we can assist them in the future we won't be far away.
Remembrance Sunday will see the culmination of an innovative community project bringing together Buckie's Roots, Buckie Arts and Crafts and various orgaisations and individuals in the local area to knit or crochet poppies will go on display in Cluny Square, mainly adorning the right hand side of Struan guest house.
For more details about Fobs and Buckie's roots, see their Facebook pages.