Support Castlebank with your Lanark shopping!

William Wallace carving, set in the new memorial gardens in Castlebank Park, Lanark. Picture Sarah Peters.
William Wallace carving, set in the new memorial gardens in Castlebank Park, Lanark. Picture Sarah Peters.

Shoppers in Lanark will help provide more plants for the town’s Castlebank Park in the latest round of the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Lanark Community Development Trust’s flagship work transforming the once-derelict park has been chosen as one of the three project’s for the town’s Tesco store shoppers to support in May and June.

“We are just thrilled that we have been picked as one of the three for this round,” said trust chairman Sylvia Russell.

Using tokens given with their shopping, customers decide which group gets £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 of money raised by the carrier bag levy.

“That sort of money will make a big difference to what we can do,” said Sylvia.

The trust, in partnership with Lanark in Bloom, has been working for the last five years to restore the neglected park to its former glory.

With the aid of around 25 regular volunteers – many retired, some with mental health problems referred by occupational therapists, schoolchildren and young offenders on community payback orders – it has already carried out an amazing transformation,

In the the Victorian terraced gardens which the council had closed over 10 years ago, the trust has laid out a huge herbaceous border andturned a 20ft-high jungle into the William Wallace Memorial Rose garden, with a statue of Wallace paid for by public donations.

The marshy grass which was once the curling pond is now a bog garden.

But the trust struggles for funds for expensive plants, and the Tesco cash will help buy plants, topsoil, new tools and protective clothing for young volunteers.

The park is well used again and “with additional funding. we can turn these gardens into a paradise for the public”, said Sylvia.