NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Memorial garden opens to public after Aberdeen baby ashes scandal

Rainbow Garden

A "peaceful" memorial garden featuring a sculpture for people affected by the baby ashes scandal in Aberdeen has opened to the public.

Baby and adult ashes were mixed together at Hazlehead Crematorium and given back to relatives of the adult.

But, the parents of the infants were told there were no ashes.

Maja Quille was the artist behind the Hazlehead Park flying birds bronze sculpture and seat at what has been called the Rainbow Garden.

BBC Scotland revealed in 2013 that no ashes had been offered to the families of infants cremated in Aberdeen over a five-year period.

Image caption Hazlehead crematorium was at the centre of the case

A report in 2017 into the baby ashes scandal included a claim staff misled the senior judge investigating procedures there.

Aberdeen City Council was ordered by the information commissioner to release the secret report after a request from BBC Scotland.

The council said Hazlehead Crematorium operations had been transformed.

Image caption A new sculpture also acts as a seat

The design of the garden and sculpture, and Rainbow Garden name, were agreed by a working group of people affected by what happened.

'Something peaceful'

The working group said in a statement: "The design of both the garden and the sculpture are beautiful and have captured what we were looking for.

"We hope parents and other people affected will find the space to be a nice quiet place for contemplation and remembering."

Sculptor Maja Quille said: "The design for the sculpture came in a way from the parents. We discussed what they they wanted and needed.

"They wanted something peaceful and about moving on. There is a future. I hope it is a positive place."

The garden was designed by TGP Landscape Architects.

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