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Map of Scotland showing the present-day committee area of Buchan
Map of Scotland showing the historic district of Buchan

Buchan /ˈbʌxən/ is one of the six committee areas and administrative areas of Aberdeenshire Council, Scotland. These areas were created by the council in 1996, when the Aberdeenshire council area was created under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994. The council area was formed by merging three districts of the Grampian Region, Banff and Buchan, Gordon and Kincardine and Deeside. The committee area of Buchan was formed from part of the former district of Banff and Buchan.[1]

The Buchan area has a population of 39,160 (2001 census) and an area of 547 km2. It contains the town of Peterhead and is adjacent to the committee and administrative areas of Banff and Buchan and Formartine.

Peterhead is the largest town in Buchan and Aberdeenshire; the principal white fish landing port in Europe; and a major oil industry service centre. Equally important is the nearby gas terminal at St Fergus. Remote Radar Head Buchan, a RAF air defence radar unit, is located near Peterhead.

Attempts are being made to counter the negative effects of several recent key company closures and economic threats. Inland, the area is dependent upon agriculture, and many villages have seen a decline in population and services. Issues affecting Banff and Buchan also apply here, as does the future of the oil and gas industry. Part of Buchan benefits from EU aid coverage. Opportunities exist through the Buchan Local Action Plan to safeguard and enhance the economic future of Peterhead and Buchan.

The Formartine and Buchan Way runs through Buchan.


Buchan is also the name of a much larger historic province and earldom, shown on maps as early as 1708, which included the whole of the modern committee area called Buchan.[2]

In Pictish times, Buchan was located within the kingdom of Ce. There is considerable ancient history in this geographic area, especially slightly northwest of Cruden Bay, where the Catto Long Barrow and numerous tumuli are found.[3]

The Earldom of Mar and Buchan formed one of the seven original Scottish earldoms; later the Earl of Buchan became separated from Mar.

In the Middle Ages, a Sheriff was established in Aberdeen, covering both Mar and Buchan. In the mid 19th century, local government reforms replaced the ancient provinces by new Counties (shires) aligned to sheriffdom boundaries; hence, Buchan formed the southern portion of the new shire of Aberdeen. Much later, Aberdeenshire was expanded to also include The Mearns, and between 1975 and 1996 this larger area was combined with Moray to form Grampian.


  1. ^ "Minutes of Buchan Area Committee". Aberdeenshire Council. 23 April 1996. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Maps of Scotland: 1708 map showing Buchan Archived 27 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Catto Long Barrow fieldnotes, The Modern Antiquarian

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Coordinates: 57°31′N 2°00′W / 57.52°N 2.00°W / 57.52; -2.00