No flagging in rebirth of a much-loved park

Celebrations at Castlebank as the team working to restore the park win the coveted Green Flag award
Celebrations at Castlebank as the team working to restore the park win the coveted Green Flag award

Efforts to restore a Lanark park to the condition it was in during its 1950s ‘golden age’ have been recognised with a national award.

Many Lanarkians of a certain age still recall some of the happiest days of their childhood being spent in Castlebank Park in the years immediately following its donation to the Royal Burgh by private estate owners shorly after the end of World War Two.

Youngsters escaped the austerity of the time enjoying tennis, and putting at Castlebank and even refreshing themselves at its own ‘tuck shop’.

However, the park suffered years of decline until, over a decade ago, it reached its lowest ebb with the closure of its famous terraced gardens due to subsidence.

Eventually Lanark Community Development Trust, with the support of the Lanark in Bloom Group, ‘adopted’ the park from its council stewards and mounted a major refurbishment project, recognised by a highly coveted Green Flag Park award from the Keep Scotland Beautiful group.

The park volunteers have been delighted by the news that the park is to retain that Green Flag status for another year.

Said Sylvia Russell, chair of trust: “We are delighted that Castlebank Park has been recognised once again as one of Scotland’s Green Flag Parks. It’s a fantastic accolade that shows the commitment our volunteers and the park’s custodian, South Lanarkshire Council, have made in returning the park to its former glory.

“The park is there for the local community to enjoy and more volunteers are always welcome to help us maintain the gardens.”

Further information on getting involved or even becoming a full member of thevolunteering Friends of Castlebank Park organisation is available on the website www.lanarktrust.co.uk

Castlebank is one of only three parks in South Lanarkshire to win the accolade for 2018, the others being in Strathaven and Cambuslang.