THE current Scots Government has daen mony a thing richt, an mony o the things fit they hiv daen richt can be classed as “big things”. Aye, the introduction o the baby box for ivery bairn born in the kintra wis a “big thing”. Sae was the Scots Government bein ane o the first in the warld tae revolutionise the fecht agin period poverty. Oor government continuallie makkin shuir that Scots citizens hiv free access tae higher education, an dinnae hae tae pey sickenin perscription chairges, isnae tae be sniffed at either. The list gangs on an on. We maun niver let these considerable feats slip fae oor mynds, but that disna mean that we cannae celebrate those fit micht be considered as a thochtie mair wee in comparison.

Ye micht nae consider the new Aiberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) tae be a little achievement, an ye wad be richt nae tae. The impact the new road has haen on the North East has been unthinkable, makkin the day-tae-day lives o mony a gey lot easier. It has turned oot tae be worth ivery penny. Reducin the time an hassle involvit in traivellin across the North East isnae the anely guid thing tae cam oot o the completion o the new road though. Ae pairt o it, that is mebbe nae sae important tae some fowk, but shoud still be commendit, is the decision tae include plantin a hantle o flooers an trees in the project. Up until noo we hiv seen perennial flooers sic as poppies an marguerite daisies scaitert alang the roadsides. Baith o these plants bein strategic choices seein as they baith produce seeds fit can be spreid naturally bi birdies an the wind – fit we hae plenty o up here. This allows for an iver increasin effectiveness as a result o minimal time, effort, an money investit. The nummer o these bonnie flooers alang the side o the muckle road will jist keep gaun up an up ower the ‘ears tae cam, athoot ony mair action needin tae be taen. Forby that, wi a bit o luck we will mebbe see mair, different kynes o flooers poppin up ower the course o the ‘ear that we dinnae yet ken aboot.

Noo, naebody is claimin that buildin a dual carriagewey is a hunner percent environmentally freendly. For this reason, the AWPR was ayeweys gaun tae face opposition. An, it did. Fooiver, it maun be taen intae accoont that this road itsel, an indeed ony wappin big road, isnae the biggest problem for the environment relatit tae road traivel. Av course trees will hiv haen tae hiv been tane doon tae mak wey for the new road. But, new anes hiv been plantit an will be up afore we ken it. In the lang run they shoud pruive tae serve as safe places for aa kynes o animals, birdies an beasties tae caa hame. They will wark as a natural drainage system, their roots sookin up excess watter, tae stop it fae gaun ontae the road itsel as weel. Fit is really daein maist o the damage tae the environment is the hairmfu emissions let oot bi vehicles that traivel on roads sic as the AWPR. Bi the leuks o things, in the ‘ears tae cam, we are gaun tae see eco-freendly vehicles begin tae mak up the bulk o fit traivels on the AWPR. If diesel an petrol cars are phased oot in Scotland bi 2032, like fit the Government has planned, sceptics winna hae onything tae grumble aboot. But still, roads jist like the AWPR are gaun tae be in existence for a fair fyle yet – there’s nae need for them nae tae be.

In order tae mak up for ony damage daen tae the environment that the construction o the AWPR micht hae caused, the abuinmentionit flooers plantit will provide an invaluable resource for wildlife. These plants will be a source o nectar for bees and butterflies tae feed on. Local bees will be chuffed wi the extra poppies on offer tae them in particular. Poppies are ane o bees’ favourites gien their hichtit pollen content.

Sadly though, a variety o wildflooers are slowly but surely gaun extinct, ae species at a time. For the past forty ‘ear, in Banffshire alane, twa species o wildfloor has disappeart ivery ‘ear. In Aiberdeenshire an Angus, it is thocht that wildflooers hav becam extinct acause o the drainin o peat bogs. The harmful effects o pesticides fit are noo common place in modern agriculture are likely tae be tae blame an aa. Wi these gifties fae nature dissapearin fae aa ower the kintra, an aa ower the warld, it is reassurin tae see mair seeds bein plantit. Although, it wad be fine for some rarer kynes o seeds tae be plantit, as weel as the poppies an dasies aaready thrivin. In particular, it wad be braw tae see some o the anes that we hiv lost bein re-introducit back intae the Aiberdeenshire kintraside.

Tae some fowk, wildflooers at the side o the road are naethin. Tae ithers, they brichten up their day an mak the warld jist a wee bitty less dour. Nae anely that, but wildflooers are a massive pairt o oor landscape. Fan ye mention Scotland tae mony a Scot, an mony a foreigner, thristles or heather is fit first springs tae mynd. Sae it’s anely richt that we keep oor landscapes covert in a diversity o kynes o plants tae match the diversity o fowk that maks up oor population. By plantin wildflooers alang the AWPR the Scots Government has provit that they wernae in it jist tae dae a

slap-dash job. A great deal o thocht an time was put intae the project – that can be seen in the little details. Aften, a big achievement is made up o mony wee achievements, an that certainly is the case wi the AWPR.