Residents have welcomed a council pledge to retain precious greenbelt in Inverness while featuring their ideas in an ambitious parkland project.
People got an insight yesterday into expansion plans for Inshes District Park, on the southwest side of the city.
Over the next few years the park, which began life between Stevenson Road and the southern distributor Road, will almost treble in size to more than 80 acres.
Since its opening the Inshes Community Association has actively attracted funding to buy play equipment and promote community involvement.
The exhibition, at Inshes Church, showcased a second and third phase to provide additional space and opportunity linking the existing park to the wider community of Milton of Leys.
Work on phase two is scheduled to start next year. The development is largely funded through developer contributions from housebuilders constructing hundreds of homes in the surrounding landscape. The final phase will proceed as funding allows.
The next stage will be developing sympathetically to make best use of the natural features and attributes of the land.
Landscape architect Sonia Wayman said: “It’ll be more natural and more informal than the first phase. We’re looking at more native planting and meadows, longer grass and informal play areas.”
Visitors can expect extensive planting of species including silver birch, hazel, dog rose and rowan which are all native to the area.
Impressed by the proposals, Ronald King, 79, of Boswell Road, said: “It’s been a real asset to the area and catered for children of all ages and a lot of tastes.”
Denise Durrand, 62, of Boswell Crescent, said: “We’re very pleased to hear they’re hoping to get phase two in place by summer of next year.”
Local Liberal Democrat councillor Thomas Prag, a co-founder of the community association, said: “I’m delighted that a design has come forward and there’s something for the community to comment on.”