Five prominent residents of the north-east’s flagship hospital have returned home following a stay at a historic castle.
The Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH) has been without its eye-catching leafy sculptures of two giraffes and trio of elephants for the last six months.
The group were on display at Castle Fraser, near Inverurie, after packing their trunks and heading off on holiday while preparatory works for the new Baird Family Hospital and ANCHOR Centre took place.
But now they are back, pride of place, close to the entrance of RACH in Aberdeen.
A spokesman for NHS Grampian said: “We’re delighted to have our biggest residents back in situ and once again welcoming patients and visitors alike as they arrive at the hospital entrance.
“The animals are a unique and popular feature and the staff and public missed them during their time away from the site.
“We’d like to thank Castle Fraser and the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) for giving the topiary attractions a temporary home and keeping them in the public eye while vital works were carried out at the site.”
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The showpieces first arrived at the site in 2016 thanks to generous donations to The Archie Foundation.
More than 50 volunteers from oil firm Wood Group helped place them, with assistance from the Beechgrove Garden team who are featured in the RACH development in an episode three years ago.
The African animals serve as the centrepiece to the hospital gardens, which have been designed to serve as a relaxing area for sick children and families from all across the north-east to visit during their often stressful times at hospital.
The spokesman added: “The return of our lofty-leafy lovelies comes just weeks after the RACH car park reopened to patients and visitors and is operating with a new one-way system in operation to improve traffic flow.”
Visitors will now enter the car park from the entrance closest to Maggie’s Centre and exit close to the RACH entrance.
The spokesman said: “We’d like to thank visitors to the hospital for their understanding and patience during the works and any disruption on the site.”