IT is not even open yet, but already Lanark’s new horticultural centre has been granted recognition by the RHS.
The Castlebank Centre will be one of only three bodies in Scotland able to offer Royal Horticultural Society courses.
The RHS is the top gardening body in the country – it organises the Chelsea Flower Show among other events.
And the centre at Castlebank is one of only three Scottish bodies granted accreditation by the RHS to run its courses; the others are the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and the MacRobert Trust in Aberdeenshire.
“We have been given accreditation to run RHS level one and level two courses,” said Sylvia Russell, who chairs Lanark Community Development Trust, the body which is behind the restoration of Castlebank Park.
“We are absolutely over the moon at this.”
The horticultural centre is almost complete; huge poly-tunnels and raised gardens now cover the derelict tennis courts at Lanark’s best-loved park and one of the old sawmill blocks has been rebuilt to provide facilities for children and adults expected to use the centre.
Chris Helm, the horticultural education officer, has been working in the schools since taking up his post in October.
The official opening will take place next month.
For full story, see this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette.