Place Of Origin Woodland, Ownership and Maintenance
The following information is merely an opinion of matters and should not be relied upon as unequivocally accurate and as such no responsibility is accepted for any information or documents appearing on this website. Only Aberdeenshire Council can provide definitive information. The purpose of this page is to provide some background information regarding ownership of the site and obligations of the lessee.
Breedon Aggregates Ltd. own the Place Of Origin, shown shaded red on the above plan.
Aberdeenshire Council own the community woodland (shaded green on the above plan), adjacent to Place Of Origin (POO). Aberdeenshire Council, as Landlords, leased the site to The Greenbelt Group as tenants commencing on 29 June 2001 and lasting for 99 years in return for the payment of the nominal rental sum of £1 per annum.
The lease exists over “the Subjects”, as these are described in clause 1.1 of the lease and outlined in red [not visible in the black and white copy supplied] on the “Title Plan”, shown below (click to enlarge):
The lease extends to some twenty pages and it is extremely difficult for a lay person to interpret and provide an informed opinion. However, a copy of the lease was supplied to a suitably qualified Lawyer for an opinion without liability or prejudice. That opinion, for which no responsibility is accepted, is available below:
Over the years the question of maintenance of paths etc. has been questioned and it was initially assumed that the tenants Greenbelt Group were responsible but it is far from clear under the terms of the lease as explained in the above “opinion”. However, a recent inquiry to Aberdeenshire Council Area Manager (Garioch), produced this reply from the Area Estates Surveyor (Garioch) on 25 October 2016:
I refer to the above Community Woodland and confirm that a lease was entered into between Aberdeenshire Council as Landlords and The Greenbelt Group of Companies Limited as Tenants for a 99 year term to 21 June 2100.
Clause 3.3 of the lease reads as follows “The Tenants shall accept the Subjects as fit for the purpose of the Permitted Use and, the Tenants will at their own cost and expense throughout the duration of this Lease maintain and manage the same for the purposes of the Permitted Use in the terms of the Management Operations in accordance with the generally accepted principles from time to time prevailing of sound silvicultural practice save to the extent that it is no longer appropriate so to maintain or manage same due to any change in the Permitted Use authorised pursuant to Clause 3.6 of this Lease”.
I recommend the Council contacts The Greenbelt Group of Companies Limited and indicates to them that in terms of the lease they are required to maintain the leased subjects at their cost and expense for the purposes of the Permitted Use for the duration of the lease.
Regarding the Place Of Origin (area shaded pink), in 2010, substantial maintenance work was carried out by BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers), a volunteer conservation group, who do environmental projects at a charge of, £250 per day. This work was organised and paid for Aggregate Industries who were owners of Kemnay Quarry at the time.
We must also bear in mind the original intention of the Artists at the time of laying out the community woodland:
The Artists set out the tree planting to mirror the larger landscape. So at the bottom of the site you will find willow and in the middle birch and oak and in the upper areas pine and larch. POO was designed to be a natural area free of any maintenance requirements. Paths are preserved by constant footfall and the only occasional intervention by people will be in the form of removing any casual litter and cutting back any undergrowth that may encroach upon and obstruct paths. In effect it would be maintained by the “users” just as many other woodland / field paths and public rights of way. The woodlands are an ideal habitat for wildlife and are allowed to flourish naturally.