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Hutton Hut unveiled at community allotment

Iain Gordon unveils the sign at the Hutton Hut
"The shed had a long and useful life at the James Hutton Institute and I’m sure it will go on for many more years as the Hutton Hut at Slopefield.

A dilapidated shed that was earmarked for demolition has been given a new lease of life at the centre of a vibrant community initiative in a once-neglected plot of land thanks to some enterprising allotment holders in Aberdeen.

The shed, which stood in the grounds of the James Hutton Institute at Craigiebuckler, was set for the scrapheap until Professor Bob Ferrier, Director of Research Impact and a keen allotment holder at nearby Slopefield Allotments stepped in.

After seeking advice, he discovered some simple remedial work would make the shed sound again and arranged for it to be dismantled and re-erected on the community plot at Slopefield. Following months of hard work by allotment holders and estates staff from the Institute the shed has been unveiled as the Hutton Hut.

The community plot has been created on a patch of ground once deemed unworkable but the determination of the allotment holders has turned it into a pleasant corner where the local plotter community, pupils from Airyhall Primary School and others can meet to learn about growing their own food and caring for the soil and the environment.

The Hutton Hut was officially opened by Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, Professor Iain Gordon, at the Slopefield Allotment Association annual BBQ which was also attended by local Councillor Angela Taylor, project architect Sholto Humphries and MSP Lewis Macdonald.

“I am delighted that the James Hutton Institute was able to support the provision of this community resource which strengthens the allotment spirit at Slopefield and will also enable local school pupils to learn more about growing their own food and the environment,” said Professor Gordon.

“The shed had a long and useful life at the James Hutton Institute and I’m sure it will go on for many more years as the Hutton Hut at Slopefield.

Wendy Gibson, Community Officer for Slopefield Allotments Association said: "We are just overwhelmed by the opportunity the Hutton Hut provides as a facility for the allotment and it will help more people, especially the young, to learn about the food they eat and how to encourage biodiversity and sustainability.

"Everyone at the allotments has worked extremely hard to improve the local environment by planting trees, shrubs and wildflowers, encouraging recycling and composting, as well as helping new plotters get established. This year that effort was recognised by an "Outstanding" award in the national It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme run by Keep Scotland Beautiful,” she added.

The addition of the Hutton Hut as an outdoor classroom means the community plot can host activities all year round, which has delighted Airyhall PS Depute Head Fiona Hubert, who leads the school’s involvement at their own allotment at Slopefield and was at the opening to see it for herself.

“The Hutton Hut and the school allotment will enrich the children’s outdoor learning experiences by providing them with real life, hands on opportunities to grow their own food and learn about the environment,” she said. “Airyhall has already gained Eco Schools Green Flag status and this will allow us to build upon that achievement.

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Printed from /news/hutton-hut-unveiled-community-allotment on 09/12/22 07:57:25 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.