A charitable trust has announced plans to preserve and restore an important site in Deeside.
The Loch of Leys lies to the north of Banchory and is designated as a “site of interest to natural science” by Aberdeenshire Council.
Now the Leys Charitable Trust, which was established in 2006 with the aspiration to preserve and enhance the unique characteristics of the loch, is embarking on a long-term plan to preserve and restore the site.
The group will engage with the local community and a number of authorities during the development of the plan.
In 1850, the loch was drained and attempts were made to traverse boggy marshland to investigate the site of a former crannog which had been built in the water.
At the end of the 18th century “ruins of houses, and of an oven” were recorded upon it and during the drainage operations a millstone was found on the crannog, and five bronze vessels of medieval date.
Two dugout canoes, coins, and part of a red deer skeleton were also recovered from the bed of the loch.
The crannog is said to have been a residence of the Wauchope family until the 14th century and subsequently of the Burnetts, prior to the building of Crathes Castle in the 16th century.
The loch is also the site of an early 20th century rifle range which was used from the time of the First World War until after the Second World War.
Evidence of this still remains, with the target, butts and ammunition store in need of “urgent restoration.”
Anyone interested in getting involved with the project can contact email@example.com or drop in to the Banchory Business Centre.