Friends of Aden and Willowbank join forces

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The Friends of Aden Country Park and Willowbank Day Services are to start a new venture together by working in partnership to manage and administer the Aden Shop in the country park near Mintlaw.

The Aden Shop is to open on this Saturday (September 29) and will tie in with the annual vintage tractor day event.

It will offer a range of items including children’s toys, and a range of locally made arts and crafts including cards, bags, scarfs, and jewellery, all at fair prices. In the future the Friends of Aden also aim to sell Aden souvenirs, postcards, and books and CDs of local interest.

Sarah Wilken, Friends of Aden Country Park treasurer, said: “This is a really exciting new venture for our group; from the community consultation carried out it is clear to us that people want to see the shop in Aden selling local produce and things of interest for tourists and children alike. We are also delighted to be working in partnership with Willowbank and to support the great work they do.

“On a personal note my grandfather used to work in Aden as a gardener when the park was first opened to the public by Banff and Buchan Council, so to be able to contribute to the opening of the Aden Shop feels like I’m following in his footsteps.”

On week days Willowbank users will man the shop between 10am to 3.30pm with the Friends of Aden volunteers manning the shop at weekends between 10am and 4pm.

Una Simpson, Willowbank Day Service manager, said: “This is not only a great opportunity for the users of Willowbank to engage with the local community, but it is also a chance for us to support the Friends of Aden Country Park. We are very excited about this new endeavour and hope the local community gets behind the initiative.”

If you would like to help the Friends of Aden Country Park by volunteering for a few hours in the shop, helping with events, or in other ways, then visit the Aden Country Park website for more information at or contact