THE Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund will see roughly 9000 native trees and shrubs planted in an Inverness park over the coming weeks, in what Highland Council hopes will be a “valuable contribution” to tackling the impact of climate change.

The "Nature Rich Greenspace" project secured £139,000 of funding through the Nature Restoration Fund, which is managed by NatureScot and encourages projects which restore wildlife and habitats on land and sea, as well as combatting the crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

The replanting will see Inshes District Park furnished with native trees such as Birch, Field Maple and Oak, as well as other species nearer the park’s pond with species common to wetland habitats to improve the ecological diversity of the local area.

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It is hoped that one of the benefits of the project will be the creation of a green wildlife corridor between the town and the countryside, and the creation of an important greenspace which will allow nearby communities to connect with nature as housing development spreads through the Inshes area.

NatureScot head of biodiversity Dr Katherine Leys commented: “Through the Nature Restoration Fund, we can support projects across Scotland to tackle the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, restore nature and improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.

“The Nature Rich Greenspaces project is an excellent example: native trees and shrubs will be planted to mitigate the effects of climate change, enhance the habitat for local wildlife, while creating a wonderful place for people to connect with nature. We’re excited to see the positive difference this project will make to Inshes District Park.”

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Local councillor Ken Gowans said: “It’s great to see this planting project moving forward. Each of the phases provides a different user experience. Inshes Park is not only a fantastic amenity for everyone in Inverness South, but it has also become a destination park for those from well beyond and for people of all ages and abilities.

“My appreciation goes to the team at Highland Council who have worked hard to deliver all of the phases and to those in the community who have supported the project. Given the huge amount of housing development in east of Inverness, we are crying out for more sports and leisure facilities in the area in future. It is also important to involve local children wherever possible - there are some budding environmentalists in our primary schools.”

The initiative was welcomed by Scottish Green co-leader Lorna Slater MSP, who wrote on Twitter: “Restoring nature is good for our communities and our environment.”