Posted Monday June 24, 2019 by Melissa Reilly

Castlebank Park in Lanark is to become more ‘bat friendly’ thanks to Lanark Community Development Trust and funding through Scotmid Co-operative.

Scotmid’s Community Grant scheme helps deserving causes across Scotland. Since 2012, the fund has supported hundreds of projects which have touched the lives of people living in the communities Scotmid serves. Through the fun, Lanark Community Development Trust has been awarded £280 to purchase bat boxes and a bat monitoring kit.

The bat boxes have been crafted by social participants at Clydesdale Community Initiatives CCI at their woodwork studio at Langloch Farm in Lanark. The boxes also feature pyrography bats – another creative talent of the woodworking team. The social participants who created the bat boxes have all faced mental or health barriers at some point in their lives. By participating in CCI sessions, they have chosen to make a positive change to their life. Through making and selling woodwork products, they receive support, training, work experience and the opportunity to raise their self-esteem and resilience.

The project has also included the purchase of a bat monitoring kit, allowing the Development Trust to run ‘bat walks’ in partnership with the ‘Clyde Bat Group’, encouraging the local community to increase their usage of Castlebank Park, whilst also learning about bats in the park.

Bats are good friends to a gardener! A small pipistrelle bat (the most common in Britain) can eat up to 3,000 insects in one night. Bats play an important role in many environments around the world. The pollination of plants by bats is called chiropterophily.

Lanark Community Development Trust manages Castlebank Horticultural Centre, located within the park. The development of the centre has been funded by LEADER, the Renewable Energy Fund and the Climate Challenge Fund. Proceeds from the hire of the centre, events, workshops and activities are returned to the Development Trust to continue the project of rejuvenating and maintaining the gardens of Castlebank Park for the local community to enjoy, with the help of a team of dedicated volunteers.

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