Home   News   Article

PICTURES: Family fun discovering the Ness Islands at book and trail launch

By Federica Stefani

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Pauline Mackay, Marjory Tait and Norman Newton with some of the children attending the launch. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Pauline Mackay, Marjory Tait and Norman Newton with some of the children attending the launch. Picture: Callum Mackay..

Inverness families enjoyed a day of fun activities as a new activity book and trail was launched.

The Ness Islands are at the heart of the second book of the Wild About Inverness series published by Ablekids Press – a children's book publisher based in the Highland capital.

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.

The launch event at the Botanic Gardens last week saw around 30 people attending with Highland councillor Alex Graham saying a few introductory words.

Ablekids Press founder and author Pauline Mackay said: "We had a great event with lots of interactive fun with the kids.

"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 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."

Each member of the Wild About Inverness team highlighted a story from the activity book and trail.

Co-author of Wild About Inverness – Ness Islands, Norman Newton, said: "It was great to be able to tell the children about William Smith, Inverness's answer to Greta Thunberg, who in 1842 stopped the Council from cutting down all the trees on the Islands to help pay their bills.

"The Courier fuelled opposition to this drastic idea and we re-enacted the protest movement with help from the kids and celebrated the life of this proto-eco-warrior.

"Two years later he married the Provost's daughter and went on to have a successful career as a suburban gardener all over the UK. The children really got into the spirit of the occasion and it was a lot of fun.

"I think the adults enjoyed it too, including councillor Graham who commented that "nothing much has changed!"

Those interested in learning more on the subject, Mr Newton will be giving a talk on The History of the Ness Islands to the North Kessock & District Local History Society at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, April 3 at the North Kessock Bowling Club.

Illustrator Marjory Tait held a clever drawing activity on the day, with the children creating a fir tree, conifer cone, mouse, flying bat and sleeping bat all from one cone-shape.

She said: "I think it was a really good event. There were lots of activities and I really enjoyed getting the audience involved in drawing various objects from cones."

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More