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Hazlehead Park

Climate Change Park Report


Final Report - February 2013

Contents
Introduction and background

Recommendations
Climate Change

Place Quality:
Uses and activities

10

Comfort and image

12

Access and linkages

13

Sociability

15

Action framework
Overarching

16

Climate Change

17

Uses and activities

24

Comfort and image

29

Access and linkages

31

Sociability

33

Potential Partners
Annex 1
Summary of Climate Change actions
Annex 2
Maps showing key Climate Change
actions

34

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Introduction
This report summarises the outcomes of a
Place Evaluation exercise and site studies
conducted by greenspace scotland in
partnership with Aberdeen City Council and
the Friends of Hazlehead, focusing on
Hazlehead Park.

The focus of the exercise was to identify


local priorities for the Park and to develop
actions to improve the Park as a key local
place. These actions include some which
can be done straight away with little or no
additional funding and others which are
longer term and need to be incorporated
into the on-going management plan for the
Park.
It also sought to identify how park design
and management can help to mitigate the

impacts of climate change issues affecting


the Aberdeen area.

Background
Hazlehead Park is situated on the western
outskirts of Aberdeen in the Hazlehead
area of the city. The park cover over 180
hectares including large areas of woodland,
football pitches, golf courses, a pitch and
putt course and an events field. The park
itself has rose gardens, azalea and
rhododendron borders, heather beds, a
children's play area and a pets corner. The
park has a significant collection of sculpture
by a range of artists and heritage items
which have been rescued from various
places within the city.

place quality improvements which do not


embrace the aims of climate change
adaptation risk being seriously
compromised by future extreme weather
events.
The predicted climate changes for
Aberdeen include hotter, dr1er summers
but with short periods of very high rainfall.
Higher temperatures are likely to lead to
increased problems with air pollution from
industry and vehicles and reduced levels of
comfort for people living and working in the
city. This will, in turn, lead to greater
demand for usable outdoor facilities or
greater energy demand for cooling
buildings. Sudden, intense rainfall will
increase the likelihood of flash flooding.

The park is home to the memorial for the


Piper Alpha disaster victims and it features
Scotland's oldest maze, first planted in
1935. There is a cafe which will be
reopening in spring 2013 (the coffee kiosk
opened in October 2012).
Climate change issues
Climate change is one of the major
challenges facing Scottish towns and cities
and the people who live in, work and visit
them. When considering place quality and
how places might be improved to work
better in the short and long term, it is
essential to address the potential impacts
of climate change and implement a range
of adaptation measures accordingly. Any

Rainfall will be higher in the winter months


and overall temperatures will be higher. As
in summer, there will be an increased
chance of periods of heavy rainfall.
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species due to their food supplies not being


available at the right times. We can expect
some species to cope better with climate
change than others we can assist species
to adapt by ensuring that there is good
habitat connectivity.

The predominantly hard surfaces in many


areas of the city exacerbate these problems
building up heat, making areas warmer and
which are therefore less comfortable due
to the both the higher temperatures and a
lack of shade. The speed of water off hard
surfaces also increases the problems of
flash flooding.
Climate change is also likely to have an
impact on wildlife in the North East of
Scotland. While the impacts of climate
change will be most pronounced for
species and habitats which are at the
southern edge of their distribution (such as
those found in the Cairngorms), urban
habitats and species will also be affected.
For example, increased temperatures and
longer growing seasons may result in some
plant species failing to thrive (this may
already be happening with some of the
exotic tree species in the Parks collections)
and may lead to problems for animal

Parks and other greenspaces have an


important role to play in combatting these
climate effects. As well as providing green
oases away from the heat of the rest of the
city, they also cool the surrounding areas.
If managed as part of an overall surface
water management system, they can
reduce the risk of flooding in areas
downstream. They can also act as a way
of capturing and holding carbon emissions
and filtering air pollution from neighbouring
streets and industrial areas.
As key components of local habitat
networks, parks and greenspaces have an
essential role in assisting wildlife to adapt to
climate change. This may require internal
management changes to enhance the
habitat connections as well as improved
links out to the wider network.

Hazlehead Park within the wider


Aberdeen context
As a key public park within Aberdeen,
Hazlehead sits within a series of city-wide
networks. A number of core paths run
through or adjacent to the Park offering
walking and cycling connections to other
parts of Aberdeen. However, these access
connections are not always well advertised.
Public transport links to the Park are fairly
good but do not reach the Park entrances
(leaving a 300 metre walk). This may well
reduce the Parks use as a resource for the
city. The perceived need to drive to access
parks and greenspaces is not a sustainable
option if the City is to reduce its carbon
footprint.
Hazlehead also sits within an overall habitat
network for the City supporting biodiversity
and the movement of wildlife. The
woodland policies around the Park are
particularly important in this context. Their
value, however, is dependent on the quality
of their management and how well they
connect to other areas of woodland across
the City.

Hazlehead Park

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4

Recommendations
Climate Change

The first group of actions includes:

solutions need to be sustainable no


half measures
(community consultation participant)
As explained earlier, the main predicted
climate change issues for Hazlehead
Park and the wider Aberdeen area
relate to increased summer
temperatures, increasing severity of
rainfall events, wetter winters (leading
to waterlogged soils. Additionally, the
growing season is likely to increase
(models suggest that this may be by 2060 days by the 2080s) this will make
routine maintenance such as grass
cutting more expensive (and increase
the carbon emissions associated with
mowing and other mechanised
activities).
Climate change related actions for
Hazlehead Park fall into two overall
categories:
those which relate directly to the
Park
those where the Park is providing
climate change services for the
rest of the area and the rest of the
City

dealing with increased flooding risk


through more sustainable drainage
approaches (both the drainage of
land and the management of water
falling on buildings and hard areas)
providing more shelter and shade at
key places within the Park (around
play areas and the Pets Corner for
example)
reducing the heating and power
costs of buildings within the Park
changing species selection to cope
with a changing climate and
changing conditions within the Park
(this relates chiefly to the exotic
species and varieties within the
Park where changes are
necessary in the wilder areas,
preference must still be given to
using native species)

The wider impacts include:


reducing the carbon emissions from
the management of the Park and its
buildings (as a contribution to wider
action across the City)
contributing to carbon sequestration
for the City
providing a source of biomass fuel
for use in Aberdeen

providing a biodiversity resource


within Aberdeen (and linking out to
the wider habitat network)
playing a role in the shift away from
driving to more walking and cycling
providing a link in the sustainable
drainage of neighbouring areas
(including the proposed new
developments)
providing a local resource to attract
people and to discourage them from
traveling further afield for their
recreation.

In planning climate change actions for


the Park it is important that these
actions also contribute to the continued
success of Hazlehead Park as a place.
Overall Recommendation
Hazlehead Park should be managed to
maximise its positive contribution to
climate change action in Aberdeen and
North East Scotland. It should become
a climate change park.

Ideas and actions for improvement


Change management regimes within
the Park to reduce carbon emissions.
The most obvious of these is to turn
some areas of mown grass into wilder
grassland or other habitats.

There are limited options for changing


to meadow management at Hazlehead
the most obvious opportunities are
outlined in Map 1.
More opportunities exist to create new
wooded and wetland areas these are
discussed below.
Retain and expand woodland. This
will help to contribute towards carbon
sequestration and also have a cooling
effect on the area. Careful planning of

tree planting will help to reduce carbon


emissions (see above) and can provide
shade and shelter for buildings and key
attractions.
Woodland management and creation
should aim to soften the edges of
existing woodland blocks through
creating more sinuous edges and areas
where the trees are more widely
spaced. This will improve their
appearance; increase the length of
edge (where biodiversity if highest) and
create areas where people can
experience pleasant woodland shade in
close proximity to the open areas of the
park.
It is also important that the specimen
trees within the Park are fully
considered. What is there condition?
Will they cope with the projected climate
changes? When will they need to be
replaced to ensure that shade and
shelter are maintained? What
species/varieties will be used?

impact in urban areas and to allow


movement of wildlife species. Action
may be needed to tackle invasive
species (both now and in the future)
the Friends of Hazlehead have an
important role to play both in monitoring
invasives and in practical actions to
control them (where this is possible).
Woodland expansion areas and
opportunities to create greater habitat
connectivity are presented in Map 2.
Develop a drainage and water
management plan that is based on
natural systems. This will tackle the
drainage of the Park and may contribute
to wider drainage management. All
management changes and alterations
to buildings should conform to the water
management plan. Hazlehead Park sits
within a Potentially Vulnerable Area for
flooding (a priority area for ACC and
partner action). The water
management plan must, therefore
integrate with the wider Surface Water
Management priorities for the area.

Increase the biodiversity of the Park


and its connections to the wider
habitat network. Climate change is
predicted to have major impacts on
wildlife and our greenspaces should be
designed and managed to minimise this
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The primary water management


challenges for the Park are:
1. Small areas of flooding within the
Park (particularly at the heather
garden and at the bottom of the
pitches)
2. Runoff from the Golf Course
flooding the pitches at Hazlehead
Academy flooding here is a
significant problem since the
Academy houses the boiler system
for the areas Combined Heat and
Power system
3. Runoff from the Park contributing to
flooding problems along the West
Burn
4. Runoff from the area around the
crematorium contributing to flooding
problems along the Den Burn
Suggested solutions to these problems
are:
1. Intercept water further uphill from
the Heather Garden and divert it
into the Caravan Site (see 2).
Create an area of alder/willow carr
at the bottom edge of the pitches.

2. Divert water from entering the


school pitches and channel it into
the Caravan Site which will become
a natural play area featuring water.
3. Divert water around the Somebody
Cares site (and into the new
alder/willow area?) some work in
this area is already being planned
Slow water runoff by naturalising
the water courses running down the
West side of the main park and
West-East through the woodland
include some water retention ponds
or other features
4. Look at potential for a retention
pond near the crematorium
Much of this action will need to wait for
the results of wider Surface Water
Management planning for Aberdeen but
it may be possible to begin some
elements of the work before this study
is completed (for example the
alder/willow planting). The location and
creation of retention ponds, however,
must wait for the findings of the wider
study. At that stage, it will be possible
to identify the priorities for action and to
decide where water features should be
located.

It is important that the water


management solutions are carried out
in such a way that they create multifunctional wetland areas this could
involve habitat creation, developing new
recreational/play opportunities, carrying
out landscape/aesthetic improvements
etc.
Water management opportunities are
presented in Map 3.

Improve the sustainability of


buildings within the Park. This
includes greater energy efficiency and
low carbon energy sources. It also
relates to the drainage of water from the
building and surrounding car parks etc.

Key buildings within the Park are:

The Caf and neighbouring toilet


block redevelopment of these
facilities should present the
opportunity to use low carbon
energy including solar/PV; air
source heat pumps and the
possibility of connecting into the
Combined Heat and Power system.
Work on increasing the insulation
and thermal efficiency of the Caf
building was already underway at
the time of the consultation event.
The Pavilion this already collects
rainwater from the roof for use in
the building and is connected into
the CHP system.
Buildings in and around the Pets
Corner these buildings are
including in the capital works
programme and should be
developed using the same
principles as the Caf and Pavilion.
The Depot buildings it is
recognised that these buildings may
need to be replaced. Any

replacement should fully utilise


energy efficiency and low carbon
energy options.
The old Lodge House a number of
ideas for uses for this building are
presented elsewhere in the report.
Whichever use is ultimately
adopted, it is important that the
building is energy efficient and uses
a low carbon energy source (this
may be more difficult given the age
and style of the building but should
still be attempted).
The Golf Clubhouse this is outwith
the control of the Council and the
Friends Group but a strong case
should be made for the benefits of
adapting the heating etc. of this
building. It might be sensible to
develop some of the other buildings
first to accurately capture the
benefits and, thereby, strengthen
the case.

Options for low carbon energy in use or


under consideration in Aberdeen
include:
Biomass boilers
Small scale biomass heating (i.e.
wood burning stove)
Solar/Photovoltaic
Air Source Heat Pumps

Ground Source Heat Pumps


Combined Heat and Power
Systems
Small scale wind power
Mechanical Supply & Extract
Ventilation with Heat Recovery

Sustainability of the caf buildings will


be increased if there is local composting
(or other use) of food waste. There
were some discussions of using
compost in the Park and some of the
vegetable peelings being used at the
Pets Corner.
Maximise the role of the Park in
resource management and energy
provision for Aberdeen
The potential exists to utilise the
woodland resources of the Park to
generate biomass fuel for use in
buildings within the Park or elsewhere
in the City. This could include providing
fuel for existing biomass boilers in
Council-owned properties including
Duthie Park and Marischal College.
An important opportunity to investigate
further is the potential for converting the
CHP boiler at Hazlehead Academy to
biomass. This would have a significant
impact on the carbon emissions of the
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heating for a large number of buildings


locally.
There is potentially space in the Park
(using the existing wood storage area
and some of the space at the Grove
nursery site) to develop a biomass fuel
processing facility (on a relatively small
scale but large enough to service a
small number of facilities elsewhere in
the City).
The benefits of having such a facility
close to one of the Citys largest
managed woodlands needs to be offset
against likely local concerns over noise
and traffic and its impact on the overall
quality of the Park. It should be noted
that a facility of this type would be on a
horticultural scale rather than an
industrial scale and would not be
dramatically different to the work which
currently takes place within the park.
The facility could also take small-scale
loads from tree surgeons/landscapers
working locally (reducing their need to
pay for disposal).
A fuller investigation of the potential
impacts of a biomass facility is needed
before taking this proposal forward.
This should quantify the current

activities on site (including number of


vehicles visiting the wood store etc.)
and contrast this with the profile for a
small biomass facility.
It should be noted that there are other
potential uses for timber and woodland
management by-products (in addition to
biomass fuel options). These include:

timber for use in the Park and


elsewhere
bark and chippings for informal
paths, base layer for play areas etc.
firewood
charcoal

Reduce carbon emissions from


vehicles and machinery. This may,
ultimately, be about the selection of
equipment on the grounds of its carbon
footprint but even in the short term it
should be possible to review the
distances travelled etc. and to devise
more efficient and cost-effective
procedures. This isnt just about
mowers etc, it also relates to emptying
bins, setting up events etc.
Develop well-marked, well known and
used routes which connect and link the
Park to local residential areas and other
important facilities and destinations.

These routes will encourage more


people to use sustainable and active
travel options, and further adaptation
and mitigation benefits can be gained
through incorporating green elements
into walking and cycling routes to
enhance green corridors and the overall
connectivity of the green network
locally.
Make the Park more weatherresilient. This includes work to
minimise the impact of poor weather on
pitches, play areas, paths and so on. It
is also about providing options for using
the Park when the weather is very hot
or wet. This might mean that the indoor
facilities need to be reviewed or that
more shelter is required within the Park.
Use every opportunity to educate
Park users about climate change and
sustainability. This is part of the links
to wider objectives and commitments
but it is also good practice to explain
why changes are being made. It will
help to minimise concerns and
complaints as well as increasing overall
awareness.

The park attracts between 300,000 and


400,000 visitors annually (ACC
estimate).

Place Quality
Use and activity
The park is fantastic talk it up!
(consultation event participant)

Overall Recommendation
For Hazlehead Park to continue to be a
successful place, it is essential that
future management maintains the
diversity and interest of the Park while
making it more weather-resilient.

Hazlehead Park is a well-used resource


for the surrounding neighbourhood and
for the wider City of Aberdeen. The
size of the Park and the features and
facilities it contains provides activities
for a wide range of ages and interests.
The Park supports a number of sports
including football, golf and orienteering.
Aberdeen Wanderers Rugby Club plays
at a site adjacent to the Park. Paths
through the wooded areas of the Park
also provide opportunities for cycling
and horse riding.
The Park has many features which are
increasingly unusual in parks elsewhere
in Scotland including formal rose and
azalea gardens, a pets corner and a
caf (which is currently closed but is
due to reopen in Spring 2013).
Hazlehead Park also has a large and
well-equipped childrens play area next
to an open and attractive grassed area
which is used in summer by families
picnicking.

Local participants in the placemaking


evaluation indicated that the Park is
less well used in the winter months.
Some of the facilities within the Park are
in need of repair and maintenance and
this must be addressed if the quality of
the Park is to be retained.
Consultation with local schools shows
that students chiefly use the park for
walking and dog walking. Some attend
the riding centre and younger children
use the play area and pets corner. The
schools use the park for curriculumlinked activities relating to sport,
science and creative arts/languages.
There is a strong aspiration to increase
the involvement of S4-S6 students in
projects in the park linked to the new
curriculum.

Ideas and actions for improvement


Promote Hazlehead Park as an
important destination within Aberdeen
and to the local communities.
Ensure that existing features within the
Park are maintained and usable.
Encourage the use of the Park for
events both local and for the wider
Aberdeen area. This may require some
thought about charges for small events.
The cost of hiring the events field is
likely to be a deterrent to many
community organisations. It is
important, therefore, to consider the
options for such groups using smaller
areas within the park (or only part of the
events field).

10

Create more positive evening use of


the Park this might best be achieved
through supporting evening activities by
clubs and organisations and evening
events. The re-opening of the Caf will
help to develop evening use of the
Park. If the promotion of evening use is
being taken forward, then there may a
need for more lighting within the Park. It
is important that lighting is only
introduced where it is necessary and
that this lighting is:
energy efficient (LED, motion
sensitive etc.)
sympathetic to wildlife and residents
close to the park
designed/sited to limit light pollution

11

Comfort and image


It is a less formal space (compared with
Duthie Park). You dont feel like you are
in a park
(consultation event participant)
Hazlehead is already a popular park and it
feels well used and well loved. In
particular, the planting and green
elements of the Park are very good and
compare well with parks elsewhere in
Scotland.

features but which are now paths to


nowhere.
One area where the Park is obviously
failing is its entrances. These are poorly
signposted and a number are overgrown
reducing their impact for potential users.
Hazlehead has attractions and facilities
that dont exist in other parks in the City
but its profile for visitors to Aberdeen could
be better.
Local participants in the placemaking
evaluation indicated that the park felt safe
and welcoming but that this was less true
in the evenings and at night. It has been
noted, however, that the opening of the
Kiosk has added to peoples feeling of
safety.
Overall Recommendation

The hard infrastructure is more variable


in its quality and much of it seems
rundown or failing. This includes much of
the path network which has problems with
flooding and erosion. There are also a
number of paths which once linked to

If Hazlehead is to continue to be a high


quality park, then attention must be paid
to the Park infrastructure and the
impacts that flooding and climate are
already having on paths etc.

Ideas and actions for improvement


Open up and highlight entrances to
the Park.
Tackle litter and small scale
maintenance tasks before they
become more serious problems
explore the community role in this
action (via Friends).
Promote the Park as a quality place
this might involve awards or simply
making the most of the wealth of
information about the Park within the
Council and the Friends Group.
Maintain and enhance the quality of
planted areas including the woodland
and formal gardens. Introduce planned
and managed wildlife areas into the
Park (native species shrubs/wildflower
meadows etc.) to provide year-round
food for wildlife. Take steps to ensure
that there is a long flowering season
and that plants selected provide nectar
sources for insects.
Build on Hazleheads unique features
the concentration of public art; the
Pets Corner, the woodland, the path
networks etc.

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Access and linkages


Keep the woodland walks - but improve
them
(consultation event participant)
Walks in and around Hazlehead Park
play a key role in the Core Paths Plan
for the wider Hazlehead area and
provide important links for walkers,
cyclists and horse riders in the area.

the day of the evaluation that paths are


prone to flooding in many parts of the
Park. Design and maintenance of paths
needs to take greater account of
flooding pressure design needs to
incorporate better drainage (cross
drains for example). The Friends of
Hazlehead could play a role in
monitoring path condition and carry out
small-scale maintenance tasks such as
clearing cross drains etc.
The level of local awareness of path
links and potential routes was identified
as a problem and it was suggested that
greater promotion of routes is needed.
The Community Wardens also indicated
that there are some problems with
motor bikes using the woodland paths
and of conflicts between walking and
cycling on some paths. This needs
further investigation to determine
whether this is a general problem or if it
is confined to one or two high-use areas
within the Park.
In addition to the problems of path
condition, the need for cycle parking
was highlighted as a contributory factor
in reducing cycle access to the Park.

A number of participants in the


evaluation process indicated that the
lack of a bus route coming into the Park
is a significant problem particularly if
we are seeking to reduce the carbon
footprint and environmental impact of
park users. Buses do run close to the
Park but people still need to walk for
300 metres or so. This may deterrent
some people from visiting the Park or
may simply push them into using their
cars.
The location of any new bus stop(s)
requires careful consideration as there
is now increased schools traffic at both
entrances to the Park.
Overall Recommendation
Hazlehead Park is an important link in
the access network for Aberdeen. The
effectiveness of this link is dependent
on the condition of the paths and
peoples awareness of walking and
cycling routes. Action is needed to
ensure that Hazleheads access links
are safe, usable and well-used.

The condition of these paths is,


however, variable and it was clear on
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Ideas and actions for improvement


Improve the Park entrances to make
them more prominent and include
information on what is available within
the park and how to get around.
Improve the condition of the paths
and roads throughout the Park. This
will include tackling the current (and
future) drainage problems but also
simpler actions such as cutting back
overhanging branches.
Provide parking for cycles. Cycle
racks at key points throughout he Park
will help to attract more cyclists and to
encourage existing Park users to cycle
to the Park instead of driving.

Improve the directional signage


across the Park. This should include
the internal path network but also links
to destinations outside the Park.
Promote the access network through
leaflets and online information. Create
a heritage trail and wildlife trails which
are interpreted (on site and online
interpretation would be ideal).
Encourage the bus companies to
improve services to the Park. This
may require some work by the Friends
Group to determine the potential levels
of demand for a service. Locating new
bus stops in and around the park will
need to take account of the additional
schools traffic near the Park entrances.

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Sociability
Its a big park with room for all different
kinds of users if all areas are utilised
properly
(consultation event participant)
Hazlehead Park due to its
combination of facilities and attractions
seems to be a very social place. Even
in relatively inclement weather it is well
used by groups and families and the
mix of users is broad. This positive feel
will be further enhanced when the caf
and toilet facilities are reinstated.
Hazlehead Primary students indicated
that the caf was an important part of a
successful park from their perspective
because it will stop their parents from
getting bored.

The real challenge is to make sure that


Hazlehead continues to offer something
for everyone and that no single use is
allowed to dominate. Equally, it is
important that key uses of the Park
interact to encourage social contact
between people of all ages.
Overall Recommendation
The on-going success of Hazlehead
Park as a great park and a great place
relies on it continuing to feel like the
somewhere for people to come
together. A key component of this is
bringing young people into the park as
positive users and as future custodians.

Ideas and actions for improvement


Involve local groups and the
neighbouring schools in the use (and
management) of the Park.
Promote the Park as an events
venue. Events should include smallscale community activities as well as
larger events aimed at an Aberdeenwide audience or beyond.

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Action framework
(note: these recommendations have emerged from the evaluation event and need to be fully considered before committing them to the
management plan for the Park some are contradictory or represent the views of only a small number of people)

Recommendations
OVERARCHING
Set up a Park Improvement or
Management Group

The Park management plan should


have a strong sustainability focus

The park needs a focal point - this


could be created by enhancing the
existing facilities (e.g. Pets Corner)
or by creating a new feature (pond
and visitor centre were suggested
by participants)

Issues/considerations

Lead person or
agencies

Potential partners +
delivery programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Made up of Council and Community to


allow access to wider funding and
action opportunities
Opportunities for private sector /lottery
input community role is crucial

ACC

Friends of Hazlehead

Short

Solutions need to be sustainable both


from engineering principles (i.e. built to
last) and in resource use. Design for
low maintenance

ACC

Friends of Hazlehead

Short

ACC

Friends of Hazlehead

Short/Long

16

Recommendations

CLIMATE CHANGE
Park features and facilities need to
be more weather adaptable (colder
& wetter/hotter & drier)

Grassed areas:
Alter maintenance regimes to
reduce grass cutting
(see maps 1-3)

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Poor drainage and lack of shelter will


ACC
reduce use in wetter conditions
Lack of shade in some parts of the park
will reduce use in sunny conditions.
Mature trees which provide shelter and
shade need to be kept (and ultimately
replaced) (including entrance Avenue)
Combination of waterlogging and
parching of grassed areas will increase
wear and tear on heavily used areas

Friends of Hazlehead
(habitat creation, tree
surveys etc.)

Long

1. Meadow creation there are issues


with the costs of meadow
management due to the need for
different equipment. Managed and
planned reductions in mowing
intensity will be a key element of all
greenspaces in future conversion
to meadow management in most/all
parks would justify investment in
new equipment (spend to save).
2. Wetland creation a number of
opportunities to create wetland
areas (as part of water
management) exist these will take
some grassland out of cutting
3. Woodland creation this is the best
option for most areas of the Park.
All work should link to wider habitat
networks

Friends of Hazlehead
have a role in
woodland and
wetland creation work
Aberdeen
Greenspace
Forestry Commission
Scotland etc.

Short/Long

Issues/considerations

Lead person or
agencies

ACC
(including a wider
review of
grassland
management in
the city)

17

Recommendations

CLIMATE CHANGE (cont.)


Trees and woodland:
Managing and expanding woodland
(see map 2)

Issues/considerations

Lead person or
agencies

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Will have carbon sequestration benefits


and contribute to ACC commitments on
tree planting
Offers the opportunity to reduce
mowing of unused grassland areas
with associated reduction in carbon
emissions
Species selection must take account of
biodiversity benefits and climate
resilience
Need to tackle invasive species in the
wild areas
Conservation management including
promoting Red Squirrel habitat (and
Grey Squirrel control) bird/bat boxes
etc.
Creation of wet woodland areas as part
of water management
Opportunity to regain FSC certification

ACC via review


and revision of
woodland
management plan
for the Park

Friends of Hazlehead
have a role in
woodland and
wetland creation work
Aberdeen
Greenspace
Forestry Commission
Scotland etc.
Woodland Trust

Short/Long

18

Recommendations

CLIMATE CHANGE (cont.)


Management for biodiversity:
Create more wild space within Park
as well as in the surrounding
policies
- wildflower/pictorial meadows
- more planting of native species
- reduce levels of rhododendron
etc.
Increase the connectivity of key
habitats through the Park
particularly woodland and wetland
Increase connection of Park to the
wider habitat network through
creating/enhancing natural corridors
between Hazlehead and
surrounding habitat blocks

Issues/considerations

Needs to be managed to maximise


usefulness and to show that this is a
positive change not just neglect Should
include steps to improve the
management of the golf course for
wildlife value
This may require some coordination
with the management of the Golf
Course
This will require the identification of key
links and negotiation with landowners

Lead person or
agencies

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

ACC
Sport Aberdeen

Friends of Hazlehead

Short/Long

Friends of Hazlehead
Sport Aberdeen

Short/Long

Friends of Hazlehead

Short/Long

ACC

ACC

19

Recommendations

CLIMATE CHANGE (cont.)


Drainage and water management:
The Park needs a drainage/water
management plan which focuses on
natural solutions and connects to
Sustainable Drainage Schemes for
neighbouring areas

Issues/considerations

Lead person or
agencies

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Drainage within the Park

ACC

Partners in the North


East Scotland Surface
Water Management
planning (SEPA,
Scottish Water etc.)

Short/Long

Use of the Park reduce flooding risk in


neighbouring water courses (West
Burn and Den Burn)
If well designed and constructed, water
management will improve local
drainage and provide features for
visitors and wildlife

Creation of retention ponds to slow


water flow and to create wildlife and
visitor features

See map 3

ACC

Naturalise water courses through


the Park and Policies

See map 3

ACC

Plant trees/bog plants at the wet


area at the bottom of the football
pitches

See map 3

ACC

Include more water features across


the site

Explore the possibility of water capture


from improved drainage to create these
new water features

ACC

Long

(these can also provide water for the


Park in dry spells in the summer
months)

(this could involve getting fountains


moved and working - more
prominent locations)

Friends of Hazlehead

Short

Short/Long

20

Recommendations

Issues/considerations

CLIMATE CHANGE (cont.)


Buildings etc.:
Whenever buildings within the park
are renewed, this should be carried
out to the highest energy efficiency
standards and with full consideration
of water management within the
Park

Lead person or
agencies

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

ACC

Caf

Long

Golf Club

use of solar heating and power


use of biomass heating and
power
use of air source and ground
source heat pumps
links to the existing CHP

Improved lighting within the park

Lighting must be:

Ensure that the water runoff from


buildings and associated hard areas
is either retained for use in the Park
or is allowed to run away slowly
through rain gardens, swales and
wetland areas

ACC

Bat Trust

Long

Institute of Lighting
Engineers

energy efficient (LED, motion


sensitive etc.)
sympathetic to wildlife and
residents close to the park
designed/sited to limit light
pollution

(both for information


and guidance)

ACC

Caf

Long

Golf Club

21

Recommendations

CLIMATE CHANGE (cont.)


Resource management:
Maximise the role of Hazlehead
Park in resource management and
energy options for the City

Issues/considerations

Build on the existing woodland


management and wood storage
adjacent to the Park to develop an
Aberdeen-wide woodland management
system designed to use woodland
arisings effectively:

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

ACC

Commercial or Social
Enterprise Partners

Long

ACC

Caf
Academy

Long

Lead person or
agencies

biomass generation
on-site/off-site usage (timber and
chippings)
firewood production (commercial?)
charcoal production

Consider conversion of Academys


CHP to biomass
Develop effective and sustainable
green waste and food waste
management system for the Park
(As much on site or nearby as
possible to reduce emissions and
cost)

City Council has 100% target for food


waste recycling link into this.
Could the Park build links with the
Academy which is a food waste
recycling pilot?
Look at options for using waste from
the caf in the Park or Pets Corner
coffee grounds, peelings etc.

Rationalise use of machinery and


vehicle fleet carbon
emissions/footprint reduction

This will involve a review of the


locations of depots and also of the
timing and sequencing of maintenance
operations for the Park (including
emptying bins etc.)

ACC

Short/Long

22

Recommendations

CLIMATE CHANGE (cont.)


Transport etc.:
Promote greater use of active travel
to access the Park

Issues/considerations

Requires some infrastructure such as


bike racks and also greater promotion
of these options

Lead person or
agencies

ACC
Friends of
Hazlehead

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Aberdeen Cycle
Forum is a key
partner

Short

Bus companies

Long

Could be based on events to promote


and encourage use for example
cycling activities in the Park (or
subsidised access to the Pets Corner
for people who dont drive?)
Promote use of public transport to
access the Park

Requires improvement and promotion


of bus links to the Park from the
surrounding area and from the rest of
Aberdeen

ACC
Friends of
Hazlehead

(Presence of the caf may help since it


offers an option for visitors without cars
in the event of rain)
Other
Use interpretation and education at
the Park to increase public
awareness of climate change
priorities and actions

Includes:

park signage
Ranger activities
information at Pets Corner
information in caf
community event to launch the
Climate Change Park (including
practical activities)

Friends of
Hazlehead

Short/Long

ACC

23

Recommendations

USE & ACTIVITY


Develop an interpretation plan for
the Park including a Hazlehead
brand
Action: get professional media/PR
advice
Create an interesting website
interactive website, download
maps/trails, link to Friends of
Hazlehead

Promotion of the park, publicise


events
Update existing on-site information
Improve signage
Introduce interpretation panels and
information points (including
information on wildlife)

Issues/considerations

Lead person Potential


or agencies partners and
delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Climate Change park - taking responsibility


Jewel in the crown of city parks
Lots of facilities something for everyone
Wildlife red squirrel park
Appeal to visitors and local people alike
The park needs a focal point
Domain name is set aside. Need to construct
and consider how to keep up to date.
Automatic RSS feed can link to Facebook page
and Twitter
Seamless link to and from the ACC parks page
(as is the case with the Natural Heritage page)
Links to website/FB page/leaflets

Friends of
Hazlehead
ACC

Gary Walker will


follow up
marketing/PR
links

Short/Long

Friends of
Hazlehead

ACC
Park user groups

Short

Friends of
Hazlehead
ACC

ACC

Install a plan of the park at each entrance


point to begin with
the trees have got history and are all
planted for specific reasons
Potential to create a smart phone app has
been explored for Duthie Park; very costly > opportunity for sponsorship if 300,000
visitors. Need to monitor visitors using
counters

Friends of
Hazlehead to
explore
sponsorship of
app and
interpretation
panels

Short

24

Recommendations

Issues/considerations

Lead person Potential


or agencies partners and
delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

USE & ACTIVITY


Ensure that existing facilities are
usable

for example:
upgrade the pitch and putt

Sport
Aberdeen
(Nigel
Spencer
Friends of
Hazlehead

Short

clean up the Maze review whether there


is a case to retain the entrance building
(pyramid)
this could be linked to re-instating the
putting/crazy golf area and the whole area
could be managed by volunteers; looking
after the facilities and charging the public.
consider changing the crazy golf area into
mini road network for trikes
suggestion to create a focal point in the
middle of the maze, but also several
destination points within it. Possibly with Q
and A panels
possible to create treasure hunts and
competitions that change regularly
Games Field change of use at certain
times; potential for running track round the
edges
This would open up opportunities for hosting
national running events/competitions.
(Needs better vehicle access into the Field)

Golf Club
ACC

ACC
Liz Lindsey
(Aberdeen Cycle
Forum) has
indicated a
personal interest
in supporting the
mini road
network idea

ACC
Sport
Aberdeen
Friends of
Hazlehead

25

Recommendations

Issues/considerations

Lead person Potential


or agencies partners and
delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

USE & ACTIVITY


More picnic tables

ACC (George
Davidson)

Short
[Long - for
2nd area]

Introduce natural play areas for


children
(Also potential to create area for
woodland leisure facilities for
children and young people/adults)

the current picnic tables can be moved from


area to area
introduce more tables of recycled plastic
create a second picnic area (Azalea
Garden? near Caravan Site? or both)
Caf has indicated an interest in having a
kiosk or mobile vending (e.g. a vending
trike) elsewhere in the Park if this was
located close to the proposed natural play
area in the old Caravan Site it would create
a second hub of activity within the Park
Natural play areas will generally be better
suited to climate change adaptation and have
been shown to be more cost effective
in principle the whole park is a natural play
area, but it takes a bit of encouragement for
parents to let their children climb trees etc.
discussion re what is meant by natural play
area highly constructed or more simply
using tree stumps and natural materials
available on site
less suited for formal park would be best
in outskirts of the woodland policies
suggestion that this would be the best use
of the Caravan Site since it can be coupled
with water management to take flooding
pressure off the Academy and the CHP
boiler

ACC

Friends of
Hazlehead

Short/Long

26

Recommendations

Issues/considerations

Lead person
or agencies

USE & ACTIVITY (cont.)


Introduce outdoor gym facilities

popular at the River (South side) and West


Hill Park
less suited for formal park would be best
in outskirts of woodland policies where is
might be best to use a relatively low key
approach similar to the natural play ideas
for children logs, steps etc. rather than
full-scale equipment
create Trim Track (existed previously) at
Hazledean Road/ woodland policies
Could use the old lodge house or be linked to
the Pets Corner
potential to develop real gateway to the
park where Pets corner is and move Pets
Corner to other suitable location in the park
rethink the whole layout of park
Option to develop the shelter as information
point
Learn from experience from Duthie Park links
to schools/curriculum for excellence

ACC

Could this become a sustainable


business/social enterprise?
Is there a potential to develop the Pets Corner
and Depot area to provide a home for the
Ranger Service and other environment/
biodiversity related activities?

ACC

Set up an Interpretation/Visitor
Centre with education facilities
focusing on sustainability

Develop more educational use of


the Park to link with SNH and wider
countryside groups
Improve facilities and buildings at
the Pets Corner

Potential
partners and
delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Short/Long

ACC
Friends of
Hazlehead

Pound for Piper


interested in
education centre
in the Rose
Garden (?)

Long

Friends of
Hazlehead
ACC (Ian
Esslemont)

ACC

Short
Short

Long

27

Recommendations

USE & ACTIVITY (cont.)


Develop new uses for the Grove
nursery site

Issues/considerations

Lead person
or agencies

Suggestions were:
something social enterprisebased relating
to growing or climate change
site for new allotments/ community
growing
(could easily accommodate both)
(use a biomass boiler for the nursery)

ACC

Potential
partners and
delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Long

Develop a positive use for the


former caravan site
Options suggested were:
1. Reinstate caravan site
2. Develop as water management
feature and natural play area
(with picnic tables etc.)
3. Redesign as a skate/BMX facility
4. Use existing paths as track for
go-carts

Diversify/introduce commercial uses


for some areas

indoor sports facilities


timber storage and treatment linked to
biomass fuel production
Unless a revenue income is required (which
might come from letting the caravan/
recreational uses of the site), the best longterm use of the site is as a natural play area
with an element of water management. This
addresses a serious risk to the CHP system
and provides a number of features that were
identified as desirable (natural play, meadow
areas and a second hub for the Park).
In the short-term, it is sensible to explore lowcost uses for the area such as a cycle
proficiency training areas.
e.g. Go Ape style high ropes/paint ball

ACC (Sandy
Scott)

Friends of
Hazlehead

Long

ACC

Friends of
Hazlehead

Long

28

Recommendations

COMFORT & IMAGE


Promote the Park as a quality place

Issues/considerations

Lead person
or agencies

Investigate Green Flag and other Awards to


confirm status

ACC

Many stories to tell through website, leaflets,


events

Potential
partners and
delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Short

Friends of
Hazlehead

Open up the entrances to the Park


(cut back trees/shrubs) to make
them more welcoming/less
intimidating

Will make the area seem safer and more


accessible

ACC

Friends of
Hazlehead

Short

Tackle litter problems

Litter picking

ACC

Friends of
Hazlehead

Short

More/better bins or remove bins?


Small scale maintenance tasks
around the Park (fixing broken
windows, paint shelter, refurbish
maze etc.)

Benches in need of TLC

ACC

Hazlehead
Academy
expressed an
interest in
making benches
etc. for the Park

Short

Introduce more public art into the


Park

This could become part of the identity of


Hazlehead

ACC

Friends of
Hazlehead

Long

Create positive uses for empty


buildings

Could initially be temporary uses linked to arts


or other projects using the Park

ACC

Replant heather garden

May need a redesign to deal with the current


flooding

ACC

Short/Long

Friends of
Hazlehead
Friends of
Hazlehead

Short/Long

29

Recommendations

Issues/considerations

Lead person
or agencies

Potential
partners and
delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

COMFORT & IMAGE (cont.)


Improve the feeling of safety at
night/in evenings

More evening activities

ACC

Friends of
Hazlehead

Long

Improved lighting

Caf

Lighting needs to be sympathetic to wildlife


and residents close to the park also energy
efficient and limit light pollution
Create wildlife areas with plants that
attract bees and other insects
Improve condition of woodlands and
specimen trees throughout the
formal areas of the park (including
more tree planting?)

Create attractive and functional


water features
(as a focal point of the Park?)
Establish a park ranger service to
provide a public face and to
increase feelings of safety in the
park
Improve general visibility cut down
trees and hedges to give a feeling of
spaciousness

ACC

Friends of
Hazlehead

Short/Long

Implement the woodland management plan for


the Park sustainably managed and for
recreation
Include flowering and fruit trees
Ensure succession and replacement of
specimen trees (may require new thinking on
species selection)
New ponds and move/reinstate fountains
Integrated into the water management of the
park and surrounding area
City Ranger Service are likely to be looking for
a new home relocate them to the park (using
the old Aviary site to create a visitor centre)

ACC
Friends of
Hazlehead

ACC

Long

A number of people valued the feeling that the


Park was a series of rooms this seems to go
against this recommendation.
Some areas do feel overgrown, however this
requires a careful balance

ACC
Friends of
Hazlehead

Short

ACC

On-going

Friends of
Hazlehead

Long

30

Recommendations

Issues/considerations

Lead person or
agencies

Signage from the main road is lacking


both advertise park and what it has to
offer e.g. Pets Corner

ACC

Improve signage within the Park

Signs to other areas of the Park and to


wider destinations

ACC

Improve the condition of paths and


roads though the Park (including the
woodland areas)

Track/path maintenance is there a


role for a user group to monitor/report
short terms problems?

ACC

Also online versions

ACC

ACCESS & LINKAGES


Improve the Park entrances
open out scrub, provide information

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

Short/Long

Friends of
Hazlehead
Friends of Hazlehead

Short/Long
Short/Long

Friends of
Hazlehead

- open out existing paths by cutting


back vegetation
- address drainage problems
Create and promote path network
leaflets (within the Park and
connecting the Park to other areas)

Friends of
Hazlehead

Create a walk round the park


highlighting the history of the Park
and the surrounding area
Involve Friends members in
monitoring and reporting on path
condition

Leaflets in production
at time of report

ACC

Short

Friends of
Hazlehead
Possibly also small scale as you see
them maintenance tasks such as
clearing blocked cross drains

Friends of
Hazlehead

ACC

Short

31

Recommendations

ACCESS & LINKAGES (cont.)


Provide cycle racks at key points
within the Park and promote cycling
links to the Park

Improve and promote public


transport links to the Park from other
parts of Aberdeen

Issues/considerations

Lead person or
agencies

Potential partners
and delivery
programmes

Priority (short or
long term)

ACC

Short

Friends of
Hazlehead

Aberdeen Cycle
Forum fully endorse
this action and others
relating to cycle
access

ACC

Friends of Hazlehead

Long

Bus companies

32

Recommendations

Issues/considerations

SOCIABILITY
Upgrade and reopen caf
Upgrade toilet facilities

Lead person or
agencies

Underway
Short/Long

Hazlehead Primary School and


Hazlehead Academy are interested

ACC
Friends of
Hazlehead

Involve the schools in an allotment area/


community garden

Hazlehead Academy interested in


food growing linked to new
curriculum

ACC

Promote park as an events venue


(large and small scale uses)

ACC
Friends of
Hazlehead
May require new infrastructure (a
new bandstand in front of caf was
suggested)
Will be best facilitated by having a
simple booking and use policy and a
system to coordinate community
(and corporate?) use
Use of the Park for events should
not be allowed to make the Park less
usable by general users

Priority (short or
long term)

ACC/Caf
ACC

Involve the schools through the City


Wardens, Ranger Service and Friends Group

Involve young people/schools in creating


nest boxes and other habitat projects

Potential
partners and
delivery
programmes

Friends of
Hazlehead

Short/Long

Short

Long

33

Potential partners (other than ACC and Friends of Hazlehead)

Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future


Aberdeen Cycle Forum
Aberdeen Entrepreneurs
Aberdeen Greenspace
Aberdeen University Conservation Volunteers
Adventure Aberdeen
Biodiversity Forum
Chamber of Commerce
Community Service teams
Council
Formal park users i.e. caf, horseriders, golfers
Friends of Pets Corner
Friends of Piper Alpha
Grampian Squirrel Group
Hayfield Equestrian Centre
Local garden centre volunteer/apprentices? Young gardeners sessions?
Local management committee @ Hazlehead Community Wing
Local Oil/Wealth companies (UK Oil &Gas) (Aberdeen is at the centre of the UKs oil and gas industry and must have many companies interested in
sustainable and green energy)
Local ramblers groups
Short note on rugby as a use of the Park and adjacent
McKenzie
sites:
NELBAP
Orienteers/ramblers (Grampian orienteers)
Aberdeen Wanderers attended the drop in session and
Ranger service
indicated that they are keen to use a pitch within the Park
nd
Schools + learning partnership
adjacent to their current facilities to allow their 2 XV to play
without the need to travel across town. The Club is
Scottish Natural Heritage
fundraising for pitch flood lights. The club has received
Scottish Water
funding from RFU for drainage of pitch, but need to match
SEPA
this - currently looking into contractors for the work. This
Sports groups metro runners
work should be coordinated with the management of the
Volunteers
Park if possible.
Wooden Spoon [rugby-based charity for disadvantaged children]
Youth groups

34

ANNEX 1 Summary of Climate Change actions


This section summarises the Climate Change actions to show how they relate to mitigation and adaptation.
Mitigation:

Changing management regimes to cut carbon emissions (grass to meadow, woodland or


wetland)

Reducing our
contribution to
climate change

Tree planting to capture carbon

Improved energy efficiency and sustainability of the buildings within the Park (including using
green energy sources)

Linking woodland management in the Park with the production of biomass fuel for facilities
within the area

Reducing emissions from vehicles and machinery (reviewing working practices etc.)

Encouraging visitors to leave their cars at home (better path links and public transport
connections)

Educating people about climate change

Making Hazlehead into a great park so that local people come here rather than travelling to
places further away

Making the Park more weather-resilient (path drainage, shelter and shade)

Ensuring that mature woodland and specimen trees continue to provide shade and shelter in
future (both for people and for buildings)

Improved habitat quality and biodiversity to allow wildlife to adapt to changing climates

Better management of water flowing through and out of the Park (intercepting, diverting and
retaining water within the Park; naturalising water courses)

Adaptation:
Coping better with
climate change

35

ANNEX 2 Maps showing key Climate Change actions

36

MAP 1 Options for meadow creation

1. The Caravan Site


2. The Arboretum
3. Meadow management encouraged in
the rough areas of the Golf Course
4. Possible hay meadow

2
1

37

MAP 2 Options for woodland habitat enhancement

5. Woodland link out past Smithfield


Farm
6. Connecting Den Wood and the Golf
Course woodlands
7. Connecting Den Wood and the core
of the Park
8. Improving the entrance avenue
9. Create area of alder/willow wet
woodland

38

MAP 3 Options for water management and habitat enhancement

10. Divert water from the Golf Course


into a water/play features at the
Caravan Site
11. Water features within the Golf
Course?
12. Naturalise water course and include
some form of retention ponds
13. Open up and naturalise water
course through woodland and
create small retention ponds
14. Open up and naturalise water
course through woodland and
create small retention ponds
15. Create area of alder/willow wet
woodland (possible site for a
retention pond on wood store area?)
16. Possible water retention pond to
reduce flooding pressure on the Den
Burn

16
10

11
12
15

13

14

39

Produced by greenspace scotland


www.greenspacescotland.org.uk
Supported by
Aberdeen City Council and the
Periurban Parks Project; part of the
European Union's InterReg IVC

40