A north-east council has urged residents to consider signing up to become snow wardens.
Aberdeenshire Council’s roads department in the Formartine area has written to community leaders, appealing for people to come forward and take part in the scheme, which it runs annually.
It is hoped volunteers will be in place by October, so they can be trained and provided with equipment before the first winter weather hits the north-east.
After last year’s heavy snow, the coming winter is expected to be similarly difficult for the council’s road teams.
Wardens would support the council by clearing their local area of snow, which helps to reduce the risk of falls associated with winter conditions and the impact on normal community life.
Volunteers are issued with protective equipment and receive items such as a hat, gloves, high visibility tabard, snow grips for shoes and a shovel.
A letter written by Anne Buchan, senior roads engineer at Aberdeenshire Council, based in the Formartine area, said: “The nights are coming in quicker which means winter is not far away. So now is the time to be preparing for winter weather.
“I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the horrendous icy conditions we experienced last December and one thing we have all learned from this is that the council does not have the resources to clear every street and footpath in Aberdeenshire immediately.
“Some community involvement is needed if we are to avoid this happening again.”
One of the worst hit areas in December last year was said to be Ellon, after a thaw, freeze and rain cycle rendered the winter treatment ineffective.
Further rainfall resulted in some roads being thick with almost 4-5 inches (10-13cm) of ice, which it’s thought could have been avoided or reduced in scale had the local authority had the resources to get the streets cleared in the initial snowfall.
Ms Buchan added: “We are implementing a snow warden scheme and I would like to have volunteers for each community in place by October, so we can ensure training and equipment is provided before the first winter weather strikes.”
More information on what is required of someone in a snow warden position can be found at https://bit.ly/2P2Jr4j