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Hidden history of the Ness Islands at heart of new book and trail

By Federica Stefani

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Pauline Mackay, co-author of the new book and trail.
Pauline Mackay, co-author of the new book and trail.

An Inverness-based publisher will launch a new book and interactive trail for the whole family today.

Ablekids Press founder and author Pauline Mackay will hold a special launch event at Inverness Botanic Gardens from 2pm-3pm to present Wild About Inverness – Ness Islands.

This book follows a successful first publication – with a trail across Inverness city Centre – to get children outdoors and discover more about the history and stories of the city.

Talking about the launch, she said: "The Ness Islands are a haven of quiet woodland beauty so it might be surprising to know that they have an intriguing and varied history.

"Through our imprint 'Wild About Inverness', we created created a new activity book for children (aged above five) and an adult trail guide which reveal some of the forgotten stories of these popular islands.

"We were astonished to discover that the islands have played such an important part in the history of Inverness.

"Nowadays, it's hard to imagine over ten thousand people flocking to the islands in just one week to watch a spectacular pageant, yet that really happened. And the woodland landscape might have looked quite different if it hadn't been for a nineteenth century eco-warrior.'

The activity book (priced at £6.99) has lots of colouring pages, join-the-dots and other puzzles which highlight the habitat and wildlife of the islands with snippets of history and a full-colour map and trail guide pull-out.

The adult trail guide is a free leaflet which can be picked up at the launch or from Ablekids Press on Market Brae Steps.

Authors Pauline Mackay, Norman Newton and illustrator Marjory Tait for interactive stories and drawing and councillor Alex Graham will be in attendance.

After the launch, there will be an opportunity to walk the trail and find out more about the project.

More information is available at ablekidspress.com.

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