Gynack Gardens – March update

Open, but not quite finished…

We are pleased to report the safety fencing came down on the 5th March and the gardens are now back open for public use. We hope you enjoy this transformed recreational space.  

The new paved area at the north of the gardens is designed as a meeting place and as an opportunity for pop up events. As well as place for a public art feature. There is plenty of space to extend events onto the main grassed area.  There is new seating at the edge of the paved area, this will be completed in the next few weeks. This part of the garden gets the sun all day and we think it will become a popular place just to sit and enjoy the space. You will see more picnic bench seating arriving over the coming weeks in addition to completion of the interpretive boards.

The flowerbeds have been reinstated and plants have already been ordered from the Highland Council. The new entranceway to the Primary school will open as soon as the safety barriers are fitted.

Work is taking place to move the fencing back, along some parts of the riverbank, so that it will be possible to actually see the river Gynack. At the southern end of the garden an avenue of cherry trees will replace the old bushes as well as wildlife planting on specific parts of the river bank. 

The new Christmas tree now has an electrical connection for Christmas lights and the Memorial has been enhanced with new paving and state of the art lighting.

The round circle at head of the Gardens (behind the paving for pop up events) has been designed to house an iconic sculpture, one that will encourage people to pause, reflect, discuss, photograph and share. A sculpture that will have visual impact and can be enjoyed by residents and visitors to the town. A modern thinking town needs a real centre and having a significant and notable feature as well as an ‘Instagram’ point will give the town real status. The vision is for visitors and tourists to spend time in the town and take pictures in the gardens which, in the nature of modern communications, can trend and thus publicise the area to others around the world.

After much thought and debate KCDC are proposing a Thistle sculpture by artist Kev Paxton (you can find him at Kev visited Kingussie and suggested a Thistle made from recycled metal collected from around Kingussie that incorporates Shinty Camans to reflect the strong sporting and cultural heritage of shinty in Kingussie.

Support for the sculpture has already been received from the High School, Community Council, Business Forum, Kingussie Community Development Company as well the National Park Authority’s community support and rural development officers and Sustrans. Planning permission has been applied for an indicative design, but this does not mean it will happen. The planning process, will only be successful if there is enough community support for the project. Once this is in place it will be possible to begin to raise funds and commission the artist to develop the final design taking into account community feedback. Below is a picture of what it looks like. This does not show the final detailed design, but simply gives an idea. 

Have your say by completing this survey – or leave a comment using the form below.

Looking east towards the new Gynack Gardens paved area and a simulation of the proposed Thistle sculpture.
Looking south west toward the new Gynack Gardens paved area and the bike shelter.
Gynack Gardens paved area showing a simulation of the proposed Thistle structure.

These projects have been undertaken by volunteer members of the Kingussie Community Development Company, a community charity trying to make a difference in our town. The funding has come from Sustrans “Places for Everyone” grant scheme as well as Highland Council’s Town Centre transformation fund. 

4 thoughts on “Gynack Gardens – March update”

  1. I think the gardens are looking wonderful – smooth, open, welcoming; in my opinion, creating the appearance of a modern, forward-looking town, and a great credit to all the hard-working volunteers who have helped to create it.

    I did not take part in the survey, but I must admit to misgivings about the sculpture. I like the idea of a piece of artwork in that position, but I am afraid the size of the planned thistle may dominate the layout, without enhancing it.

    I would however like to record my thanks for the hard work and enterprise of all those who have been involved.

  2. Why do all the published document coming from KCDC state that the Thistle Sculpture has the support of the Community Council when is minuted and published that at the KVCC meeting on 9th November “WHILE NOT EVERYBODY AGREED WITH A THISTLE THERE WAS AGREEMENT AD SUPPORT FOR THE ARTWORK”.
    It is extremely disingenuous for KCDC to claim support for an issue that has led to the abeyance of the Community Council.

    1. Thanks Liz, Our understanding is that the majority of KVCC members present at the November meeting agreed with the concept design although this was not unanimous and “the artwork” is what is being proposed ie the concept of a thistle, as stated in the minutes. We would not have stated this in the FAQ’s above if we had for one minute thought that KVCC did not support it. Indeed we would not have taken this forward at all without the support of the majority of the Community Council. It would not have made any sense to then ask KVCC to submit our planning application unless KVCC had supported our proposal. I hope this clarifies the situation and reassures you that we have acted with integrity and sincerity in this matter.

      1. There was no discussion, meeting or quorum of the majority of the Community Council to put forward the planning application in KVCCs name. This is the reason for the Council is now in abeyance so there is no evidence that the Thistle had the support of the Community Council.

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