Castlebank is even more green as it wins flag award again

The new bog garden, with its little pond.
The new bog garden, with its little pond.

Castlebank Park in Lanark has retained the Green Flag it was awarded last year.

It is one of only three parks in South Lanarkshire - and 73 across Scotland - receiving the Green Flag award this year from enironmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Blooming for the first time, the Wallace Memorial Rose Garden was planted out last year.

Blooming for the first time, the Wallace Memorial Rose Garden was planted out last year.

The awards are in recognition of their high standards and provision of quality outdoor space.

“We are delighted,” said Sylvia Russell, who chairs Lanark Community Development Trust which, with South Lanarkshire Council, has been transforming the once-derelict park.

“We are absolutely delighted.

“Thanks go to all the volunteers who have put so much work into the gardens to make it look beautiful.”

The park now houses a horticultural centre, new play equipment, the fairy dell of tree carvings, the William Wallace Memorial Garden with roses funded by Border Biscuits in full bloom for the first time, and the new bog garden, where the pond used to be generations ago.

It is being well used - Sylvia was particularly happy to see a huge group of nursery children ‘going on a bear hunt’ there on Friday.

The awards are assessed by volunteer judges.

Welcoming the award to Castlebank, Strathaven Park and Cambuslang Park, Ian Guild, South Lanarkshire grounds manager, said:

“The council’s Grounds Services teams have been working together with the local communities and South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture to continuously improve the standards within Strathaven Park, Cambuslang Park and Castlebank Park, and so we are delighted to have three all parks awarded Green Flag Award status once again.

“This award is the benchmark for quality green space and we would not have achieved it for our parks without the efforts of all concerned.

“This shows how continued excellent partnership working, with the emphasis on the involvement of the community, can make a big difference”.

Congratulating South Lanarkshire Council, Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “It is pleasing to see their continued success and the number of Green Flag Awards in Scotland increasing year on year.

“Good quality green open spaces are vital to the health and wellbeing of local communities, families and individuals. Parks and open spaces are a fantastic asset - they are free to use and provide opportunities to exercise and socialise.”

The awards have gained the support of NHS Health Scotland and greenspace scotland - for helping to support quality outdoor environments and facilitate the wider health benefits.

Applicants are judged against demanding criteria which include assessing whether the park or green space is welcoming and well-maintained.

To be considered for the awards, the park managing authority must apply. Further information on how to see your local park involved in the Green Flag Awards can be found at: www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/parks