Photos: Planting Potatoes at Hilton Primary School, Inverness

Despite the sudden flurries of snow, I was able to attend Hilton Primary School’s potato-planting session as part of the “Grow Your Own Potatoes” project this morning. It was great to see so many kids so enthusiastic about getting their hands dirty; projects like this and Crofting Connections, which teaches kids about crofting, are fantastic, and long may they continue.IMG_0374 Jean at Hilton PS P5 Hilton PS Potato Planting at Hilton PS

Events: Climate Challenge Fund Information Events in Lerwick and Kirkwall

Next week, the Climate Challenge Fund team will visit both Lerwick and Kirkwall to discuss how CCF grants can help fund community projects looking to reduce their carbon footprint. So far, the CCF has helped to fund projects that provide energy efficiency advice, the promotion of reducing, reusing and recycling and lower carbon transport, with £44.7 million awarded to 399 different community groups.

The Kirkwall event will take place at the St Magnus Centre on February 7th between 11am-3pm and 6pm-8pm, and the Lerwick event will be held at the Museum and Archives Centre on February 5th from 11am-3pm and 6pm-8pm. The event is free, and any group or individual can drop in. For more information, please visit the CCF events page:


Jean Urquhart MSP is to join a cross-party demonstration against nuclear weapons at the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday 16th October.

Jean will be joined by four Labour Party Welsh Assembly Members (AMs), as well as the leaders of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Welsh Green Party in condemning the continuing support for Trident amongst some policy makers. The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, has also sent a message of support.

Jean, an SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, said:

“I have been a member of CND for many years, and have long opposed the abhorrence of nuclear weapons, both in Scotland’s waters and beyond.

“Spending obscene amounts of money on redundant weapons of mass destruction is an affront to society, and one that must cease immediately.

“I will be proud to share a platform with speakers of all parties and none who also oppose Trident and any proposed replacements that will take money from where it is most needed and fritter it away where it is least needed.”

Press Release: Jean Urquhart MSP Shows Her Support for Microchipping Month (June 13th)

Jean Urquhart MSP met up with the Kennel Club and the Microchipping Alliance on Thursday 7th June 2012 to promote the benefits of compulsory microchipping and the importance of keeping database details updated as part of National Microchipping Month 2012, which takes place throughout June.

National Microchipping Month aims to encourage responsible pet ownership through the promotion of microchipping as an inexpensive, safe and painless method of permanent pet identification. The event is run by Petlog, which is owned and managed by the Kennel Club, and has over 6.2 million pets registered, with 70,000 new pets added to the database each month.

Jean, who owns a border collie, commented: “With so many people exploring the rugged beauty of the Highlands every summer with their pets, it is sadly inevitable that some will go missing in our hills and woodland.

“A large part of being a responsible pet owner is to ensure that your pets are microchipped, registered to a database and that all details are up to date. As a nation of animal lovers, we all want a quick and successful reunification should our pets go missing, which fundamentally relies on these three components.

“Our counterparts in Northern Ireland have taken the first steps by introducing compulsory microchipping, which will significantly help reunite stray and stolen dogs with their owners whilst helping save local authorities tremendous financial resources. I therefore firmly support proposals for the implementation of compulsory microchipping in Scotland.”

Motion: Moving Stories Travelling Exhibition

Moving Stories Travelling Exhibition
That the Parliament welcomes the travelling exhibition, Moving Stories, which is at Eden Court, Inverness, until 24 July 2012; understands that the exhibition highlights the experiences of 10 members of the public who have had some involvement with the Parliament; notes the wide range of topics covered in the exhibition, including knife crime, public petitions and health matters; believes that it is an excellent showcase of the work carried out by the Parliament and how people can best get involved; congratulates the organisers of the exhibition on attracting over 300,000 people since its launch in 2009; considers the interactive nature of the exhibition, its geographic spread and the diverse venues that it uses to be just some of its strengths; understands that the exhibition will also visit North Ayrshire Heritage Centre, Dalry Town Hall and the Scottish Borders Campus in 2012, and looks forward to it continuing to bring the work of the Parliament to the people.

Supported by: Roderick Campbell, Anne McTaggart, Rob Gibson, John Finnie, Annabelle Ewing, Chic Brodie, Margaret Burgess, Colin Beattie, Joan McAlpine, Bill Kidd, Willie Coffey, Paul Wheelhouse, Joe FitzPatrick, Hugh Henry, Richard Lyle, Mike MacKenzie, Fiona McLeod, Dennis Robertson, Sandra White, Kevin Stewart, Stuart McMillan, David Torrance, James Dornan, Mary Scanlon, Jamie Hepburn, Maureen Watt, Gil Paterson, Rhoda Grant, Stewart Maxwell

Motion: Book Week Scotland

Book Week Scotland
That the Parliament celebrates the announcement by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs of Scotland’s first ever Book Week; understands that this will take place between 26 November and 2 December 2012; welcomes the news that the various projects and events taking place that week will be free, thus widening the possibility for participation by all; encourages the public to submit its favourite places for inclusion in an anthology of writing called My Favourite Places as part of Book Week Scotland; recognises the social, educational and cultural benefits of encouraging all of Scotland to take up or continue reading as a leisure activity; believes Scotland’s wealth of literary and creative talent to be one of its great strengths, and looks forward to these strengths being promoted as part of Book Week Scotland.

Supported by: John Mason, John Finnie, Annabelle Ewing, Kevin Stewart, Margaret Burgess, Roderick Campbell, Fiona McLeod, Hanzala Malik, Liam McArthur, Anne McTaggart, Dennis Robertson, Kenneth Gibson, Mike MacKenzie, Bill Kidd, Mark McDonald, Dave Thompson, Joe FitzPatrick, Aileen McLeod, Adam Ingram, Jamie Hepburn, Gil Paterson, Richard Lyle, Joan McAlpine, Bob Doris, Colin Beattie, Paul Wheelhouse, Chic Brodie, Rhoda Grant, Stuart McMillan, James Dornan, Maureen Watt, Alison Johnstone, Stewart Maxwell