Snake's new home is glass act

One of Hazlehead Park’s most popular residents - Vader the Burmese Python - is enjoying life on a grand scale in her new enclosure.

The 12-foot snake has moved into her temporary new home which was custom-built by local home improvement company Bon Accord Glass, ahead of the planned refurbishment of the park’s popular Pets’ Corner.

Communities, Housing and Infrastructure vice convener Councillor Jean Morrison said: “It’s fantastic to see Vader enjoying the extra wiggle room in her new enclosure.

“We’d like to say ‘fangs’ to both Bon Accord Glass and Friends of Hazlehead Park for the new glass house and hope lots of people will ‘squeeze’ in to see Vader.

“We’re sure that many people will come along to pay Vader a visit while they enjoy the family-friendly attractions on offer in the rest of Hazlehead Park including playparks, a café, the maze, walks, and of course the beautiful gardens.

Pets’ Corner has been a feature at Hazlehead – which is the city’s largest park at 180 hectares and is already a Red Squirrel Conservation Area – for 50 years. It is currently home to a variety of animals including rabbits, chinchillas, donkeys, tropical fish, ducks and a pygmy goat.

Martin Allan of Bon Accord Glass said: “Our firm was happy to take on the task of designing and building a new home for Vader. I’ve never dealt with such a slippery customer but she seems to be satisfied!”Plans have been submitted to Aberdeen City Council to redevelop Pets’ Corner and create a new reptile house, aquarium and aviary. If the plans are approved, work is expected to begin in the autumn.

Friends of Hazlehead Park Chairman Donald Shaw said: “The Friends of Hazlehead group has been one of the driving forces behind the renovation of Pets’ Corner.

“It is already a popular attraction and the new facilities will bring even more visitors to Hazlehead Park. I hope to see Vader joined by lots of new friends in the Reptile House by Easter next year.”

Hazlehead Park has Royal connections through Robert The Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots and the Queen Mother, and it is also one of the city’s most popular parks as it is within walking distance or a short bike ride for residents in the west of Aberdeen or an easy bus ride from the city centre for visitors or tourists. There is also ample parking at the park.