Cullen Pet Cemetery and Cullen Skink

DBK

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Last week we walked on the coastal footpath from Portsoy to Cullen, Banff, which was a good walk of nearly 13 km, especially the second half from Sandend to Cullen, which goes past an old castle, lots of nesting sea birds and.......a pet cemetery.

The residents were mostly dogs and cats, but I saw a grave for a hamster. As we walked past I was buttonholed by a lady to carry a sack of slate chippings up to her moggy's last resting place. I'm not sure of the place's history but it was very well populated, so to speak.

When we first saw it we assumed it was a graveyard for humans as we had seen several others in the area which were sited away from the church, we assumed in ground which was easier for digging. The church being built on rocky ground. In the last picture below you can see the Portsoy graveyard on the extreme left of the campsite. The two churches, one with tower and one with spire are in the village itself some distance from the graveyard.

Anyway, the only reason for posting these pictures is to publicise this area which is not so well known outside Scotland I think. And finally, you don't need to walk 13 km for some Cullen Skink, every café and pub in the area sells it. But I do recommend Cullen Skink: http://www.scotland.org/celebrate-scotland/recipes/cullen-skink/

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2014+-+1
 
Last edited:
Jun 14, 2009
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Hi
We live in Cullen. The pet cemetery was started by a local man Stevie in 1992 who lives beside it. He buried the local doctors dog there and other locals asked him to bury their pets there. As the cemetery grew, the council wanted money for a waste management license etc. to make the burial ground official. He also had to get permission from the land owner. After a lot of red tape Stevie contacted the Queen who gave permission for the pet cemetery to remain where it is.
 
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DBK

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Should have mentioned originally, Portsoy campsite is OK, facilities not up to CC standards but adequate. The camp commandant, Violent Violet as she was named by us is a well known local character whizzing around on her electric trike and is worth booking into here just to meet.

However, main issue is the site is seriously sloping. If busy the less slopy pitches will be taken and you are left to pitch on the side of a hill - no MH will have levelling blocks tall enough or self-levelling suspension which can cope. The caravans on these spots have several breeze blocks under their steady legs. There is a bit of space on the sea side of the road which is level but you won't get an EHU here.

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Gellyneck

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More than toes wet now!
Great beach at Sandend (in your photo) for the dog.

When up that neck of the woods a month or two back we stayed at Finochty Caravan Park and thought it was great. Quite a picturesque village and the pub is at the entrance to the site. Dolphins spotted twice in the bay.

The Moray Coastal Trail virtually goes through the site.

We had car and caravan (wash your mouth out with carbolic!) as we're still looking but the Tesco's and Lidl's in Buckie ( a couple of miles away) have fairly sizeable car parks that should accommodate M\H's when looking for provisions.
 
Jun 14, 2009
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Just home after spending the afternoon at the Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival. It was really busy with lots of MH's in the car parks and caravan site, no sign of violent Violet though:Smile:

If you are touring Scotland don't miss this part of the country if only to visit the Cullen ice cream shop:Eeek::thumb:
 
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DBK

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Just home after spending the afternoon at the Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival. It was really busy with lots of MH's in the car parks and caravan site, no sign of violent Violet though:Smile:

If you are touring Scotland don't miss this part of the country if only to visit the Cullen ice cream shop:Eeek::thumb:

Don't want to start a local war but the Portsoy ice cream shop was very good as well. My wife particularly like the Turkish Delight flavoured one, as did several other ladies in our party! One pair of ladies were given a taste of every variety they had and afterwards felt so bloated they didn't feel like buying any - but they forced themselves and did of course.

I agree this part of Scotland is well worth a visit. We heard very few Sassenach voices, it is a secret known only to the Scottish I think.

Apparently the village population swells from around 1500 to 15,000 during the traditional boat festival, which is on now. I suspect you would need to book a place on the campsite well in advance for this. They were putting the barriers out when we there - to stop the masses falling in I guess. You might be able to see the barriers stacked on the right of the picture below.

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The small loch in Portsoy was stuffed with ducks. This is my entry to the Cuddly Duck Competition, a nest of almost fully grown Mallards:

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Last edited:
Apr 9, 2013
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Thanks for sharing that info about the pet cemetery. Quite fascinating. It clearly shows that people, if give the chance, do want to remember their pets and honour them as they would dead friends.

We'll definitely drop in there where we do our tour up that way.

Tim
 
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DBK

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We'll definitely drop in there where we do our tour up that way.

Tim

It is at the extreme south end of the village, south of the beach, a little beyond the last house, along a track but only a short walk from the village.

A brave person might want to hide a Funster Geocache there!
 

Xantha Leatham

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Hi,

Do you know if Stevie is still having problems with the council regarding the pet cemetery? I'm writing a story about it and would be great to find out more information.

Thanks!

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DBK

DBK

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I would send Findlaters (post #2 above) a PM (conversation) as it should alert him/her/them with an email. The cemetery is so well established I doubt they could remove it but I guess they could prevent further expansion. Findlaters says it has Royal approval but perhaps things have changed?
 
Jan 27, 2018
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I know that this is quite an old post but I'm really annoyed at a recent decision. Under EU regulations this much loved pet cemetery is seriously under threat, it is classed under EU regulations as a " animal disposal facility " and as such has to undergo an expensive and regular inspection, not unexpectedly the kind gentleman pensioner who maintains the spotless facility, with no cost to anyone, cannot afford the fees. Everything from a dolphin to an hamster is buried there, the place is much loved by everyone.

Very sad for everyone involved.
 
Dec 6, 2011
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I know that this is quite an old post but I'm really annoyed at a recent decision. Under EU regulations this much loved pet cemetery is seriously under threat, it is classed under EU regulations as a " animal disposal facility " and as such has to undergo an expensive and regular inspection, not unexpectedly the kind gentleman pensioner who maintains the spotless facility, with no cost to anyone, cannot afford the fees. Everything from a dolphin to an hamster is buried there, the place is much loved by everyone.

Very sad for everyone involved.


dont want to mention the B word but will that still be the case soon. surely it will revert to UK Scottish legislation

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Langtoftlad

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dont want to mention the B word but will that still be the case soon. surely it will revert to UK Scottish legislation
One would hope so... it's supposedly why folk want to leave the EU bureaucracy, but I fear are own civil service are infected with the "rule is rulz" virus... so, sadly, perhaps not.
 
Jan 27, 2018
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Stevie, the guy who has run the cemetery for more than 25 years purely does it from his love of animals. I only hope he is able to get back to looking after the cemetery after Brexit.

For anyone who has never visited he has built the cemetery alone, every stone,pebble and rock has been put there by him, most are painted and kept spotless. He has, as far as I know, never asked anyone for financial help.

He's just one of the worlds nice guys - long may he continue,

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Jan 27, 2018
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Sadly the inspection is on a regular basis and not just a one off.

I can't see the Scottish Government altering the EU rules, that would be far too helpful !!
 

pappajohn

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dont want to mention the B word but will that still be the case soon. surely it will revert to UK Scottish legislation
Don't hold your breath.
Even after we say goodbye the powers that be will still adopt EU rules and regs.
It will never revert to how it was pre 70s.

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pappajohn

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Visited the psuedo Mediterranean Village of Port Mirrion many years ago.
Walking through the woods we came across a pet cemetery.
Many small headstones and rather overgrown and neglected and to be honest, because of the neglect, a bit spooky.
 
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