Posted Friday June 28, 2019 by Melissa Reilly

On Friday 28th June, The Duke of Rothesay visited Castlebank Park and Horticultural Centre in Lanark to learn about the park’s renovations and met with many of the volunteers and local organisations involved.

This was a very special occasion for the Lanark in Bloom and Castlebank volunteers who have recently earned a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

During the visit, His Royal Highness undertook a walking tour of Castlebank Park, taking in the renovated terraced William Wallace Memorial Rose Garden and Long Border, chatting to volunteers and a young person from The Princes Trust who had been involved in the garden renovations.

Matthew Harvey, a young person who had completed a two-week placement at Castlebank Park as part of his Prince’s Trust 12-week Team Programme said “His Royal Highness asked me about the benefits of the course, what I enjoyed and if I thought it helped. I said I had struggled at school and that the Prince’s Trust course really had changed me – I didn’t expect it. It’s been a big help.”

Moving onto the Bog Garden and Fairy Dell, His Royal Highness met young people from the local Scouts and Beavers groups who regularly visit the park to enjoy outdoor activities.

His Royal Highness then visited Castlebank Horticultural Centre’s Growing Compound, meeting Lanark in Bloom and more community gardening volunteers including members of the centre’s dementia friendly gardening group. The raised beds in the compound are currently full to the brim growing produce, much of which will be donated to the Clydesdale Food Bank through the Clydesdale Food Network, coordinated by Clydesdale Community Initiatives.

Lanark in Bloom volunteers are responsible for the many floral displays and baskets which adorn the town of Lanark all year round. Lanark in Bloom won GOLD at the 2018 Beautiful Scotland Awards and is being judged as part of the 2019 awards later this summer.

His Royal Highness then met Castlebank’s Educational Gardener and representatives from South Lanarkshire Council’s Community Payback Team, who have contributed greatly to the renovation of the park. Most recently, the Community Payback Team have assisted in the creation of the new ‘Community Apiary’ site beside the Horticultural Centre. The recently instated beehives were opened by His Royal Highness, cutting a bright yellow ribbon – fitting for bees who will become resident in the hives later in the summer. The Community Apiary project was funded through The National Lottery Community Fund.

His Royal Highness then joined a reception of Development Trust’s supporters, funders and representatives from local organisations. Before departing, His Royal Highness planted a locally grown Scots Pine tree to commemorate the visit.

Sylvia Russell, Chairman of Lanark Community Development Trust said “It was a huge honour to host The Duke of Rothesay at Castlebank Park on such a beautiful day. The park looked magnificent and it’s all down to our fantastic team of volunteers who have recently gained the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for their efforts in bring the park back to life for the local community to enjoy. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the visit.”

Castlebank Horticultural Centre is managed and operated by Lanark Community Development Trust. 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. Further information is available at the Castlebank Horticultural Centre web page.


  1. Myra Gibson says:

    This is amazing Sylvia. Well done all.

    • Sylvia Russell says:

      What a day. We were astonished when we got the phone call to say the prince would like to visit.

  2. Mary Bryson says:

    Congratulations to everyone involved in the restoration of Castlebank Park.
    A special day today, be proud of your achievements .👍 super.

  3. Sylvia Russell says:

    It was great to have the hard work of all the volunteers recognised in this way.

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