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Caithness News Bulletins December 2003

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Pre-school children in Thurso will receive a welcome addition to their play facilities today (Mon 15th Dec) when Maureen MacMillan MSP opens an outdoor play space and garden at The Highland Councilís Ormlie Centre.

The £30K development which is jointly funded by The Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage includes a range of play equipment - flag-pole, wig-wam, cairn tunnel, play house and landscaping and storage facilities.

The Ormlie Centre offers services to children under 5 years old through Highland Pre-School Services but is also used by Social Inclusion Partnership projects, Save The Children, Homestart, People First and older residents of Ormlie. Although aimed at the under 5ís, the whole community will benefit from the outdoor play space and garden.

Maureen Macmillan MSP said: ď'Highland Council and SNH have to be congratulated on providing such an interesting and exciting play area for young children and indeed a recreational facility which can be enjoyed by a cross-section of the community.  I am delighted to be here today at the opening and hope that the sun will always shine on it and that it will bring pleasure to everyone who uses it, young and old alike'.

Highland Councilís Caithness Area Convener, Councillor David Flear said: ďAll pre-school providers as part of the 3-5 curriculum have to provide access to outdoor play. At Ormlie the outdoor play space was an uneven, poorly grassed area with holes. I am delighted that The Highland Council and SNH have been able to provide a new stimulating environment for our children to play and develop in.Ē

Ian Mitchell, North Highland development officer for Scottish Natural Heritage
said: "We are very happy to be involved with this project as it will provide great opportunities for learning something about the environment and enjoying the outdoors. Well designed and carefully planned projects like this not only show that environmental education can be fun, but they also raise peoples awareness about the natural heritage that exists all around us, even in built up areas like Ormlie."