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New nature-inspired artwork to help revitalise 'tired' duck pond area in Inverness woodland

By Val Sweeney

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A new screen will be installed for the artwork at Dunain Woods.
A new screen will be installed for the artwork at Dunain Woods.

Two Inverness artists have been commissioned to help revitalise the area around a city duck pond.

It will form part of a wider project to breathe new life into Dunain Woods on the western edges of Inverness.

A piece of bright new artwork will be created thanks to a successful funding bid by the local community woodland group, Dunain Community Woods, to the Co-op Community Fund.

Heather Afrin and Susan McCreevy have been commissioned to create nature-inspired artwork to feature on the totem pole and a mural on a new squirrel viewing screen at the back of the duck pond which has become unloved and unsafe.

Robertson Homes has provided materials and labour for the installation of a replacement squirrel screen on which the nature inspired artwork will be attached.

Susan McCreevy is a mixed media artist while Heather Afrin is a contemporary artist specialises in colourful watercolour and oil paintings.

Ms McCreevy said: "The brief for the mural was a complete blank canvas and we have come up with a very colourful and bold design that will incorporate animals such as frogs, pine martins, deer, hedgehogs, foxes and ducks.

"There will be large animals and tiny little creatures for the children to hunt for and we hope our mural will become a visitor attraction and encourage people to get out and enjoy their local area."

Jacqui McPherson, sales manager for Robertson Homes, said: "Dunain Community Woodland is such an important part of the local landscape and we are so lucky to have it on the doorstep of both our Great Glen Hall development and Great Glen Gardens which we are launching in August.

"Our new residents love having an area of such natural beauty next to their new homes so we were pleased to be able to support the trustees with their vision and we can’t wait to see what these two great artists create.”

Part of the panelling will be replaced.
Part of the panelling will be replaced.

Martin Stubbs-Partridge, a trustee of Dunain Community Woods, said the organisation was delighted to join forces again with Robertson Homes following a successful tree planting day in the Future Forest part of the woodland last December when 70 local people planted over 400 native trees.

"The duck pond is a special place visited by thousands of people each year but has become tired, unloved and in places, unsafe," he said.

"We’re delighted to start a programme of community led projects that will breathe life back into this area.

"Our principle aim as a community woodland group is to inspire more people appreciate and look after nature on their doorstep.

"The recent Covid-19 lockdown reminded us just how lucky we are to have such a special place on the edge of Inverness."

An initial consultation and tidy-up event will provide the local community an opportunity to have their say about facilities and activities they would like to see at the duck pond and the woodland beyond.

Anyone interested in taking part can register their interest at dunainwoods.com/duck-pond.html

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