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A special service was held in Banchory this week to mark the beginning of a year of celebrations of the arrival on Deeside the families of the Burnett of Leys and Irvine of Drum. On Monday, 27th March, more than 100 people attended the event which celebrated the 700th anniversary of the Burnett family residing in the Crathes and Banchory area. The service at St Ternan’s Church was led by The Rector of St Ternan’s, The Reverend Canon Lynsay Downs with readings from the Burnett Family.

Members of the family were joined by guests representing local organisations, community groups and businesses including Banchory Community Council, Deeside Rugby Club, Banchory & District Initiatives, Banchory Golf Club, Banchory Heritage Society, Banchory British Legion, Banchory Show, Banchory Pipe Band, Banchory Scouts, Banchory St Ternan Football Club, Banchory Ternan Rotary Club, The Royal Deeside Railway Society, Banchory Cricket Club, Banchory Paths and Banchory Stonehaven Athletics Club.

The service recognised the legacy gifts of the Burnett family which include, the King George V Park, The Bellfield Park, The Bowling Green, Banchory Golf Course, Alexander Park and, the Burnett Park. Also projects of the Burnett family; Woodend Barn, the Rugby pitches, the allotments, the railway and the newly started Seedbox which are hopefully a modern equivalent of those earlier legacies.

Throughout the year, a number of events will be held locally to mark this landmark celebration including initiatives with local primary schools, an exhibition at Crathes Castle and activities at Banchory Show.

In August, more than 130 members of the Burnett clan from across the world will visit the north-east for a weeklong programme of events as part of the Burnett Gathering. The Gathering was last held in 2017 and will include special events to mark the 700th anniversary.

The 700th anniversary will include the launch of a project to protect the Loch of Leys. At the heart of Leys Estate, Loch of Leys is the site of a Crannog which was home to the Burnett family after they first arrived in Deeside in the 14th century before they constructed Crathes Castle. The project, led by Leys Charitable Trust, includes restoring partial open water, improving multi-user public access and restoration of aspects of built heritage including an armoury and rifle range. The improvement of public access aims to protect areas of biodiversity, environment, and natural heritage. Ideas and suggestions from the community are welcomed – for more information visit