Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid got stuck into some spade work on a recent visit to Aden Country Park.
The Conservative MP planted five trees on a temporary site at the Mintlaw park, with the new site currently being worked on by a group of archaeologists after a grant was received for a historic dig there.
The new planting area at the farm will form part of the restoration and development of Aden Park, which has attracted funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland.The
Mr Duguid planted two silver birch, two rowan and a hazel tree, the trees being donated thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV.
In support of the programme the woodland Trust provided 50,000 trees for ITV viewers and a commemorative pack to every MP in the UK.
The project is part of the wider Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a unique network of forest conservation projects which unites the Commonwealth family of nations to save one of the world’s most important habitats.
Following the tree planting, Mr Duguid paid a visit to the archaeological site within the park.
Chief archaeologist Alison Cameron told the MP: “The excavation is a large post-hole structure 12.4m wide and 24.5m long.
“It is very ploughed out but the bases of post-holes survive showing us the outline of a rectangular building with rounded ends.”
Ms Cameron says charcoal samples have been sent off for analysis and radiocarbon dating and it is believed the building may date to the Neolithic period, maybe around 5500 years old.
She added: “It’s a very exciting find and the types of domestic structures are very rare in this area.”
Mr Duguid said: “I was delighted to be involved in The Queen’s Commnowealth Canopy’, it’s a great initiative which both encourages people to get outdoors and appreciate the natural beauty of trees, whilst doing something really positive for the environment.
“While there I was very interested to talk to Alison Cameron who was conducting a dig at Aden ad was in the process of uncovering the remains of what might transpire to be a Neolithic building.
“As a wise man once said ‘the true meaning of life is to plant tress, under whose shade you do not expect to sit’ (Nelson Henderson).