Tain Floral Displays

The Tain Task Force, working in partnership with the Tain Initiative Group and Tain Community Council, have over the last 6 years increased the number of flower baskets, tubs and public gardens which are planted and maintained by a team of dedicated volunteers. There are now around 350 hanging baskets and troughs.  The displays are watered 7 nights per week by a team of volunteers. The volunteers have also adopted the flowerbed at Tain Health Centre, an area of disused land at the King Street Corner and the Cadboll Place triangle and have planted these up with various shrubs and flowers and maintain them.




The community grow their own flowers in a community polytunnel,  manned entirely by volunteers who attend daily to water and keep an eye on the 8,000 or so plants that have now been grown in the tunnel.  The baskets were planted up in May, ready for displaying in the town in June. 

Tain Rose Garden

2009 saw the completion of our new refurbished Tain Rose Garden, situated off the High Street.  The garden was designed by Kirsty Mclean from the Beechgrove Garden team and was featured on BBC 2 Beechgrove Garden in May.  The gardens were officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal in September.

The beautiful gardens are a huge tourist attraction and used by all members of the community.  Tain is very proud of our new Rose Garden.

Residential Gardens

An annual Best Garden Competition is run by the Tain Gardeners Club. There are awards for 1st place, runner up and a special achievement award, which takes consideration of problems experienced by elderly ordisabled entrants.  The community in general takes great pride in the town and this is witnessed in the many number of beautiful gardens in and around Tain.

Tain Guide Hut

The Guide/Brownie Hut is used by both groups for their weekly meetingsand is also let to a variety of community groups and organisations inTain.  Assistance was provided in 2003/04 by the Tain InitiativeGroup and Tain Community Council to the youth group to secure fundingto employ a contractor to install railings around the hut and removethe existing wall.  This enables the grounds to be seen from theroad and therefore discourages the anti-social activities that havebeen taking place there.  The funding also allowed for landscapingwork to be carried out which is maintained by volunteer parents.

Duthac Centre Grounds Improvements

The Duthac Centre is one of Tain oldest and finest buildings. Built in 1814, the original use of the building was a church of worship, built to replace the Collegiate Church.  A change of use occurred in the 1920s when there was a transformation in the set-up of churches in Tain and the building’sfunction was changed to that of a community hall.  The building was refurbished and re-named the Duthac Centre in 1976.  The facility continues to be used in the present day as a community centre with a variety of uses.  

The grounds surrounding the building are approximately .413 of an acre in area.  They are contained within a handsome sandstone wall with the original iron railings in place.  The railings have recently been re-painted and are well maintained.  The grounds themselves however, although widely used for a variety of functions, have never been developed to their full potential.  The various uses at present of the grounds include the monthly farmer’s market stalls; pipeband and outdoor performance displays; use by youth groups for outdoor play and recreation; and as public car parking for the town centre.  The grounds at the front of the building on Stafford Street are on the main access to the town centre, leading from the A9 Tain entrance and therefore are of considerable importance to the image of the town.

The Tain Task Force and Tain Initiative Group secured grant funding of £50,000 in 2002/03 to develop and enhance the grounds by installing adrainage system and creating a central hard-core area for performances and use by markets and sales; to include disabled and able-bodied parking spaces; to provide access pathways for the grounds to the Duthac Centre; to landscape the full area enclosing the central hard-core to provide low maintenance environmental improvements including trees, shrubs and bedding plants; to add trellising and plants to the toilet block buildings which are a considerable blemish to the building and to add external lighting to the grounds area for safety and security, to allow for evening uses, and to enhance the building itself.

Public flower beds

King Street Car Park - A team of volunteers have ‘adopted’ a neglected area of wasteland adjacent to the King Street car park and have remove drubbish/rubble, levelled and grass seeded the area and planted shrubs, planters, baskets and added a garden bench.  Work is currently taking place to re-plant the rockery at the car park and create agravelled flower bed at the car park.

Market Street - Ornamental trees were planted by volunteers on the area next to the car parking bays and railing and gravel have been added tomake the features more attractive.  

Scotsburn Road - Volunteers have developed a flower bed on an area previously grassed but in need of a feature.  This flower bed is planted up each year with annual flowers and also includes some shrubs and perennials for year round interest.  

Cadboll Place - The ‘triangle’ area is located in the town centre and was previously overgrown with bushes and dying trees.  A team of volunteers have removed the dead trees and wild bushes, shaped the retaining hedge and existing trees and replanted the grassed area.  Furniture and features have also been added to give the area a central ‘green’ town square appearance.  Volunteers regularly maintain this area.

Nursery Garden - The nursery has established an herb garden for use in the nursery and also used by the nearly OAP residential home and special needs school.   A vegetable garden has been recently planted and again the fresh vegetables will be used within these facilities.

Environmental Garden - The Environmental Garden, located next to TainRailway Station, was established and is maintained by the Tain Task Force.  However as regular users of this facility for educational purposes the Tain Nursery have agreed to become involved in the maintenance and have adopted all the tubs and planters throughout the garden and plant and maintain them.

The more formal seating area
The more formal seating area
Trees established
Trees established

Trees & plants established
Trees & plants established
The pathway leading to the pond area.
The pathway leading to the pond area.

Recycling and Composting

Tain Nursery - The nursery for pre-school children run a recycling and composting initiative.  All children are encouraged to bring in household waste and paper and card that is suitable for composting, and businesses throughout Tain have been enlisted to deposit their used paper and card to the nursery for this project.  A large composting bin has now been filled and the children regularly manage this facility.  The compost will be used within the nursery garden when ready.

Various recycling initiatives are in place.  The nursery has established itself as a ‘scrap store’ and businesses are encourage todonate various materials and equipment that are no longer required and would normally be added to their daily rubbish bin.  These include damaged or disused tiles from kitchen shops, which are then used by the children for arts and crafts project; and, black fresh flower bins from the local supermarket and flower shop, which are used for storage andprojects.

The nursery also encourages the neighbouring Special Needs School and elderly residential home to become involved in the above projects.

Community Composting - The community has recently built composting bins in the town Environmental Garden.  The bins are being filled from various works taking place in public areas around the town and the compost will be used for community projects.

Tain Civic Amenity Site - the Tain community, working with the local authority, were successful in establishing a civic amenity site on theTain industrial site.  This site is staffed by a full time member of staff and has facilities for the disposal of household and garden waste, tyres, oil and scrap metal.  Since its introduction therehas been a dramatic decrease in the levels of litter and illegal tipping of rubbish throughout the area.  Importantly there are facilities for the recycling of paper and card; clothes/textiles; aluminium cans; and glass.  Highland Council have reported that Tain has one of the highest rates of materials for recycling and due to the high demand, further paper recycling facilities have recently been added.  To support and encourage use various posters have been posted throughout the town and use is made of the press to ensure the facility is well known.

You can now recycle your waste cooking oil at the Recycling Centre in Tain! There is a designated container on the site into which you can pour the oil. It is then collected by a local farmer and is converted into bio-diesel for reuse therefore avoiding landfill or worse still, the oil being poured into the drainage system and blocking up the sewers and treatment plant. If you have any queries please contact the Council’s waste team on 01349 868439 or email them at recycle.highland.gov.uk”


Wildlife Pond – Located at Tain Links is a large area, which was formerly a boating pond.  This facility had been lying empty and disused since 1975 and had become a local eyesore and an environmental pollutant.  A community survey of every household in Tain for future development identified the pond as a priority for development.  Funding was secured from Awards for All (lottery), Scottish Natural Heritage and Ross & Cromarty Enterprise to have a full feasibility study, plans, community consultation and costings to turn this area into a Wildlife Pond.  In particular, local youth groups, schools, nurseries and local environmental groups, were fully in favour of the project and viewed it not only as a huge improvement to the environment but also an opportunity to improve the area’s biodiversity, provide an educational resource and provide increasedfacilities for outdoor leisure.

Full project funding of over £100,000 was raised in 2003 to allow the project to go ahead.  The contract works were complete in 2004 and the opening was held on 2nd July 2004.  A ‘family orientated party’ was organised by the Tain Gala Committee, Tain Community Council and Tain Initiative Group for all the community to enjoy.

The pond is now managed by a volunteer management team who have a maintenance plan in place.

Tain Mussel Fishing - Tain mussels are in important part of Tain’s history and are famous throughout the world.  Tain Community Council works closely with SNH to develop and preserve the Dornoch Firth and the Tain Mussels fishing area, an SSSI site. A new modern fishing boat was commissioned by the town and was launched and named Gizzen Briggs by HRH Princess Anne in 2004.  This boat has the added benefit of the most up to date modern technology allowing continual monitoring and under-water filming of the mussel beds to ensure continued quality of mussels and preservation of this important site.

Tain Links drainage system

Funding of £106,000 secured through grant applications by the Tain Task Force in partnership with the Tain Initiative Group and Tain Community Council, to install an underground drainage system and to re-surface and grass seed the vast Links area.  This area is widely used by residents and visitors for both formal and informal leisure pursuits and organised events, such as the Gala and Fairs, are regularly held there.  Prior to the work the area was becoming waterlogged and unusable and was a major cause for concern for both individuals and groups in Tain who regularly used the area.  The work is now complete and has made a huge improvement to the overall area.

Keep Tain Tidy Campaign

Community ‘clean up’ campaigns have been organised by the Tain Task Force.  These have been well attended, particularly by youth groups in the town, an important element in the education of the community to keep the environment clean and tidy.  The events have been organised to make them both educational and fun.  Various volunteers have also been involved in general repairs and ongoing upgrading to the town and its facilities including the repainting of street signs, power washing of bins and bus shelter and repairs/painting of buildings.

Town Centre Pavements and Crossing

Funding was secured early in 2004 to enable the town centre pavements to be replaced.  Community consultation was organised by the Tain Community Council and Initiative Group on the type of stone to be used and upgrades required.  This work is now complete and makes a huge difference not just to the aesthetic appearance of the High Street but also makes the town centre safer and more pedestrian and disabled friendly.

The Community Council, acting on behalf of the community residents, successfully lobbied the Council for the introduction of a pedestrian crossing in the town centre in 2003.  

Access project

Following large scale community consultation Tain Community Council and Tain Initiative Group devised a development plan showing immediate, medium and long-term priorities for path and cycle path developments.  Funding was secured in 2003 to allow all the work identified as immediate priority and some of the medium term priority work to be completed.  Local walks were signposted and a Tain environmental logo was devised by a pupil from Tain Royal Academy (a competition was run by the Community Council with the school to design an environmental logo for Tain).  Two leaflets have been published mapping all the walks in and around Tain; these are available from the Tourist Information Point at Tain Through Time.

Old picture house restoration project

Tain Heritage Trust, a local charitable group, was set up to restore old community buildings in Tain.  The group have recently secured funding to carry out immediate repairs to make the Tain Picture House building wind and water tight. The group are now working on raising the major capital funding to enable the building to be restored to its former glory. Successful fundraising initiatives have included a ‘buy a brick’ scheme, which encourages the local community to purchase a stone and receive a certificate and a ‘Taste of Tain’ event in which local shops and businesses took part to provide entertainment for the community. 

Village Officer Initiative

Funding was secured  to employ a part-time Burgh Officer, a type of town janitor role.  The Officer’s role is to support the work of the volunteers and he is responsible to the Tain Initiative Group. 

Community Involvement

There are over 50 voluntary groups in Tain.  Many of these groups are actively involved in the environmental improvements undertaken in the town.   The Tain Task Force are the main environmental group and they work closely with the Tain Initiative Group, a group that includes representatives from all the main voluntary groups inTain.

The maintenance and daily (7 days) watering of the tubs and flower baskets is undertaken by a team of volunteers, which includes a wide age range of people. A team of community representatives regularly undertake clean ups and general day-to-day weeding and litter picking in the town.

The Tain Community Council is actively involved in all activities and fully supports, both practically and financially, all initiatives undertaken by the other voluntary groups.

For various environmental projects community consultation days have been held to ensure that the Tain community are fully aware of the proposals, have input to the projects and to take on board suggestions made by the user groups of the various projects.  These meetings have proved to be both informative and popular among the community.

Fundraising is carried out through various initiatives including street sales, coffee mornings, bag packing, raffles, donation tins in shops, business sponsorship and grant applications and appeals.

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