Merkinch[pronunciation?] (Gaelic: Marc-Innis) is an area of the city of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. One of Inverness's oldest areas, it is in the north-west of the city, flanked by the Caledonian Canal to the west and the River Ness to the east. It has traditionally been known as a working-class area.
Originally, Merkinch was home to Inverness's shipbuilding industry and the Kessock Ferry sailed across the Moray Firth from a pier in South Kessock, to the north of Merkinch. Distilling was another important industry with a number of distilleries in the area. Today, industrial activity still takes place in the Carse Industrial Estate and Telford Retail Park. Also in Merkinch is Grant Street Park, home to Clachnacuddin Football Club, and Merkinch Primary School, one of the oldest in the city.
Notably, Merkinch was one of the last areas in Inverness to retain the town's own dialect of Scottish Gaelic.
The area known as South Kessock has a diverse set of wildlife habitats with a wide variety of plants and animals and as such was designated as a local nature reserve in November 2007. Merkinch Local Nature Reserve is the 50th local nature reserve in Scotland and is the only one in the Highlands. The reserve consists of tidal pools, which are partially connected to the sea, open grassland and wooded areas. Habitats include salt marsh, fresh water marsh with reed beds, bog, scrub and wooded embankments.
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