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Landscaping Improvements in Aden Country Park, Mintlaw

Aberdeenshire Council
Aden Country Park, Mintlaw
April - August 2021 (20 weeks)

The Project

Aden Park’s ambitious redevelopment plans involved taking the popular visitor destination and enhancing, promoting and conserving its cultural, architectural, archaeological and natural heritage.

By making the park and its amenities more sustainable and accessible, Aberdeenshire Council hoped to transform it into a destination in rural Aberdeenshire that visitors can enjoy for generations to come.

Working with a third-party designer, CRC was contracted to help make extensive hard landscaping improvements to the park’s main courtyard area and entrance.

As the Arrival Courtyard contains the park’s farming museum and café as well as public toilets, it is used by almost all park attendees during their visit. Though the courtyard was by no means in bad shape, it did include a generous amount of cobbled surfaces and planters, which could lead to accessibility issues. Therefore, we upgraded the 2,000-square-metre courtyard by improving its surfacing and installing signage to give visitors useful information and directions.

In addition, we installed granite setts for the park’s main entrance, clearly marking its boundaries. We also constructed a footpath next to the vehicle entrance to allow pedestrians to enter the park safely.

Throughout the project, we brought our value engineering experience to the table. In addition, we worked collaboratively with a freelance quantity surveyor to ensure that the solutions being built were the most durable, sustainable and cost-effective while minimising the environmental impact.

Aden Park Entrance Way

Work Scope

The entire project comprised:

  • Installing 150 linear metres of 7 wide granite setts around the courtyard’s circular perimeter
  • Installing 95 linear metres of 2 wide granite setts at surfacing changes
  • Laying 1,300 square metres of paving stones
  • Laying 190 square metres of resin-bound gravel surfacing
  • Laying 300 square metres of asphalt
  • Installing 85 linear metres of slot drains
  • Installing surface water drainage pipes
  • Supplying and installing a fabric canopy for the courtyard area with 6x eight cubic metre concrete foundation bases
  • Constructing three flights of precast concrete steps with bespoke handrails
  • Installing ducting

We deployed our own plant as the prime machinery on site as these machines have a much higher specification than standard equipment. All excavators used have Engcon tilt rotator units attached, allowing the excavators’ buckets to be tilted 40 degrees in both directions and continuously rotated, saving time and labour as well as reducing ground disturbance.

Construction at Aden Park


One of the main challenges during the Aden Park development project was the site's popularity. Attracting over 150,000 visitors yearly, the park is constantly in use. So it was vital that the public's enjoyment of the park was not impacted by the construction works.

For example, a café sits in the centre of the courtyard and public access needed to be maintained throughout construction so that it did not lose business. Working with the client, we overcame this challenge using temporary diversions, signage and experienced Banksmen to accompany plant movements. All CRC staff are highly experienced at working around public access issues on projects like these and always aim to ensure that the public’s safety and enjoyment of facilities are not affected by the works being carried out.

Aden Park Courtyard Paving


Upon completion of the project, CRC received positive feedback from Aberdeenshire Council for our work on the courtyard and entrance, and the designer was impressed with the quality finish of our work.

Later this year, CRC will return to Aden Park to install 25 linear metres of timber walkway next to the River Ugie, which lies north of the park. This installation was originally part of the 2021 work scope, however, this work had to be postponed due to the availability of timber and its increased price at the time.

Aden Park continues to be enjoyed by thousands of local, national and international visitors each year. We are proud to have played our part in enhancing some of its facilities so even more people can enjoy this rural visitor destination.

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