The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Vehicles destroy memorial
Tribute: Campaigners blocked from protecting tribute to cancer victims
Devastated campaigners in a Moray village claim they have been blocked from protecting a tribute to cancer victims from damage caused by motorists.
More than 8,000 daffodil bulbs were planted on the approach to Tomintoul three years ago to create a floral memorial.
However, the remembrance garden has been repeatedly chewed up
“We have a plan in place to make the necessary improvements”
by vehicles driving over the ground since it was formed.
The Glenlivet Estate has stressed it has plans to make improvements in the coming weeks.
However, retired civil servant Mike Budd, who lost both his parents to cancer, says he approached local officials more than three months to install larger stones to protect the flowers – even offering to source and place them himself.
He claims he has been prevented from doing so due to concerns their look may not be “natural”.
Mr Budd said: “There’s a quarry nearby, so getting the stones isn’t a problem.
“I also offered to put a second sign in but they said that wasn’t natural either.
“There’s a wooden bird hide with lots of signs nearby. I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t think that’s particularly natural either.
“Over time some of the stones have sunk, so it might be accidental that people are driving over it, but that’s no excuse for the inactivity in protecting it.
“One of the most recent incidents was on Remembrance Sunday.”
Mr Budd and his wife Desree, who lost her mother and two brothers to cancer, opened the “field of hope” in 2016 following support from a small army of volunteers and children from the village school.
The eye-catching yellow displays have been created across the country to raise awareness for charity Marie Curie.
Concerns were also raised in early 2017 about “joyriders” tearing up the Tomintoul field, which is near the A939 Lecht road junction, when foot-deep tracks left bulbs strewn across the ground.
A spokesman for the Glenlivet Estate said: “We have a plan in place to make the necessary improvements to this area by sourcing large rocks from our local quarry and placing them in appropriate positions.
“We have kept in contact with and updated Mr Budd throughout, including a site visit to agree the most appropriate measures.
“We hope to have the work completed in the next few weeks.”