The Inverness Courier recently reported on a fantastic initiative by the Culloden Community council, supported by Incredible Edible Inverness and the Highland council, to plant fruit trees. They intend to add to the community’s attractiveness, encouraging pollination and, hopefully, growing fruit for locals to pick. It is a simple idea but a very good one and builds on the fantastic work already underway by Incredible Edible Inverness.

The group’s volunteers have been turning previously unused corners of our city into vegetable and herb plots. We should all get behind their efforts, not only in support but in funding, to ensure they continue to deliver long term benefits for our communities at what will be relatively low costs.

As we look to our post-pandemic future, it would benefit the well-being of the city and its impact on the wider Highlands for us to collect examples of such good practice. These ideas and the work of groups across our communities, both small and ambitious, will enable us to develop a set of strategies for our city.

Too often, these projects are easy to miss unless it is a significant, newsworthy development like the conversion of the Castle to an attraction that locals and visitors can access.

I am always in awe of the depth of talent and commitment we have in our communities, and we need to find a way of bringing talent and projects together under a shared vision for Inverness.

As we seek to rebuild and grow our local economy again, our thoughts need to be on what we want our city to be 20 or 30 years from now – if not, we will keep making the mistakes of the past, aiming for short term wins and looking back at missed opportunities.

Just as Incredible Edible Inverness and Culloden community council looked around, noted the strengths of the natural environment and set out to build on it, we need to do the same and put well being at the heart of our city’s future, designing a great place for families.

As your MP, my mission is to work with you all to do just this. Creating the city we want needs more than the Council; it requires all agencies, business and people. It needs us all to work together.

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