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Aberdeenshire ( , ) is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotlandmarker and a lieutenancy area.

The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeenmarker, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic Aberdeenshire - one of the counties of Scotland formerly used for local government purposes. Within these borders, the County of Aberdeen remains in existence as a registration county.

Aberdeenshire Council is headquartered at Woodhill House, in Aberdeenmarker; the only Scottish council whose headquarters are based outwith its area's border. Aberdeenshire borders Angusmarker and Perth and Kinross to the south, and the Highlandmarker council area and Moraymarker to the west.


Aberdeenshire has a rich prehistoric and historic heritage. It is the locus of a large number of Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, including Longman Hill, Kempstone Hillmarker, Catto Long Barrowmarker and Cairn Leemarker. Since medieval times there have been a number of crossings of the Mounth (a spur of mountainous land that extends from the higher inland range to the North Seamarker slightly north of Stonehavenmarker) through present day Aberdeenshire from the Scottish Lowlands to the Highlands. Some of the most well known and historically important trackways are the Causey Mounth and Elsick Mounth.

The present council area is named after the historic county of Aberdeenmarker which had different boundaries and was abolished in 1975, under the Local Government Act 1973 to be replaced by Grampian Regional Council, and five district councils; Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, Moraymarker and the City of Aberdeenmarker, with local government functions shared between the two levels. In 1996, under the Local Government etc Act 1994, the Banff and Buchan district, the Gordon district and the Kincardine and Deeside district were merged to form the present Aberdeenshire council area, with the other two districts becoming autonomous council areas.


The council area has a population of 226,871, representing 4.5% of Scotland's total, and a 20% increase since 1981, 50% since 1971. The ten largest towns in Aberdeenshire (with 2004 population estimates) are:

The population has a higher proportion of younger age groups than the rest of Scotland, reflecting employment-driven immigration in recent decades.

Governance and politics

The council has 68 councillors, elected in 19 multi-member wards by Single Transferable Vote. The 2007 elections resulted in the following representation:

Ward Members Representation
1. Banff and District 3 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Ind
2. Troup 3 1 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Ind
3. Fraserburgh and District 4 3 SNP, 1 Ind
4. Central Buchan 4 2 Ind, 1 SNP, 1 Con
5. Peterhead North and Rattray 4 2 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Ind
6. Peterhead South and Cruden 3 2 SNP, 1 Lib Dem
7. Turriff and District 3 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Ind
8. Mid Formartine 4 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con
9. Ellon and District 4 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con
10. West Garioch 3 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP
11. Inverurie and District 4 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con
12. East Garioch 3 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP
13. Westhill and District 4 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Ind
14. Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford 4 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con
15. Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside 3 2 Con, 1 Lib Dem
16. Banchory and Mid Deeside 3 1 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con
17. North Kincardine 4 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con
18. Stonehaven and Lower Deeside 4 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con
19. Mearns 4 2 Lib Dem, 1 SNP, 1 Con

The overall political composition of the council was as follows:

Party Councillors
Liberal Democrat 24
Scottish National Party 22
Conservative 14
Independent 8

The Council's net expenditure is £750.1m a year (2008/09). Education takes the largest share of expenditure (55%), followed by Social Work and Housing (19%), Transportation and Infrastructure (11%), and Joint Services such as Fire and Police (10%). 22% of revenue is raised locally through the Council Tax. Average Band D Council Tax is the eighth lowest in mainland Scotland at £966 (2003/04).

The council has devolved power to six area committees: Banff and Buchan, Buchan, Formartinemarker, Garioch, Marrmarker and Kincardine and Mearns

Boundary Map

Notable features

The following significant structures or places are within Aberdeenshire:

Hydrology and climate

There are numerous rivers and burns in Aberdeenshire, including Cowie Watermarker, Carron Water, Burn of Muchallsmarker, River Deemarker, River Donmarker, River Urymarker, River Ythanmarker, Water of Feughmarker, Burn of Myrehouse, Laeca Burnmarker and Luther Watermarker. Numerous bays and estuaries are found along the seacoast of Aberdeenshire, including Banff Baymarker, Ythan Estuarymarker, Stonehaven Baymarker and Thornyhive Baymarker. Summers are mild and winters are typically cold in Aberdeenshire; Coastal temperatures are moderated by the North Seamarker such that coastal areas are typically cooler in the summer and warmer in winter than inland locations. Coastal areas are also subject to haar, or coastal fog.

Notable residents

The QueenEvelin Glennie from Ellon who was deaf but could play the tuned percussion in tune and right.


  2. W. Douglas Simpson, "The Early Castles of Mar", Proceedings of the Society, 102, 10 December 1928
  3. C.Michael Hogan, Elsick Mounth, Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham
  4. General Register Office for Scotland

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