Posted Friday August 09, 2019 by Melissa Reilly

Hi everyone, this is a long update as there has been so much going on over the past couple of weeks! First off, Lanark Community Development Trust is holding an EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) on Tuesday 10th September, 7.30pm at Castlebank Horticultural Centre. The purpose of this EGM is for the wider membership to approve the Development Trust’s updated Memorandum and Articles in accordance with new Community Right to Buy Legislation. Members should contact for more details.

Before getting onto all of the exciting activities and projects that have been happening at Castlebank Horticultural Centre, I’ll mention a couple of other Development Trust projects that have been progressing. Progress is being made with the Heritage and Tourism Group – watch this space for more details. The Lanark Website is continuing to be very popular, with over 8,000 visits in July alone! Remember you can use the site to advertise free of charge local events, jobs, volunteering opportunities, businesses and news stories.

We’re also ploughing ahead with planning for this year’s Winterfest (eek!) and next year’s FlowerFest 2020. Stay tuned for more details of both. Most importantly, to have details of your festive event featured in this year’s printed guide, you need to complete this online form or email by the 1st of September.

Okay, now onto everything that’s been going on at Castlebank Horticultural Centre! As you’ll remember, we were visited by HRH The Duke of Rothesay on 28th June. Following the visit, The Prince’s Charities has given a generous donation towards the ongoing development of the park, and we would like to consult with the local community on the type of project or new feature you would like to see in the park. Please click here to complete the online survey and let us know your thoughts.

The other big news is that the centre has been granted RHS Approved Centre status! This means as of autumn this year, Castlebank Horticultural Centre will be offering the ‘RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture’. This qualification is designed for individuals wanting a route to employment in professional horticulture or further development. The theory-based qualification helps learners by assessing their knowledge of the principles which underpin horticultural practices. We are also offering one young person the chance to be awarded a fully funded bursary to complete the course. The application deadline for both is Thursday 22nd August. Please click here for more information and to download the application forms & course handbook with prices/dates. 

This month we’ve also launched our new ‘Gardener for a Day’ leaflets for Primary Schools and Nursery visits.  As well as Primary Schools and Nurseries, we can also welcome groups and clubs such as Scouts, Guides and Beavers. Click here to download our Primary School and Nursery Visits Leaflet

Speaking of leaflets, our new ‘Wildflower and Tree Guide’ for the park is now complete. Free copies available at our Summer Open Day this Saturday and from now on at the Horticultural Centre. The guide features illustrations and descriptions of 25 wildflower species you can find in the park, and also the names of 13 specimen trees – all plotted on a map. See how many you can find! Please contact us to order a free batch of the guides for your club, organisation, school, etc >> / 01555 728 329. Read more about this project funded by Grow Wild.

On 6th August, our 12 bat boxes were nstalled around the park and Clyde Walkway (including this HUGE oak tree). Thanks to assistance from South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers, South Lanarkshire Council, Clydesdale Community Initiatives – CCI who built the boxes and Scotmid Co-operative who funded the project. There are limited places left on our first Bat Walk on 15th September with the Clyde Bat Group. Email ASAP for details/to book!

On 7th August our alpine garden really started to take shape.  Huge thanks to a very generous donation from Cloburn Quarry Company Ltd and transport from Tennant Transport Ltd of Forth who did the heavy lifting this afternoon delivering our rocks. The planting sessions with The Haven will take place on 20th and 27th August! Anyone else wishing to join in, please get in touch: Project funded by Volunteering Matters Action Earth

On 8th August the Castlebank Park volunteers put their tools down for a day to enjoy our annual Summer Trip! We had a great day exploring the beautiful Victorian gardens which have been lovingly restored over the last 30 years. The annual summer trip to a different horticultural location is a thank you to our volunteers for their hard work in the Castlebank Park Gardens throughout the year. We are always looking to welcome new volunteers, so please get in touch if you or someone you know would be interested!

On Friday 9th August we had our last Family Gardening Club at the park! It’s been a great 5 weeks with 28 children and their parents enjoying a range of outdoor activities in the garden, from bug hunts and butterfly counts to potting, watering, weeding and making bird feeders. Keep an eye out for details of September Weekend and October Week sessions!

Unfortunately, we have taken the decision to cancel the Summer Open Day at Castlebank Horticultural Centre tomorrow (10th August) due to the adverse weather forecast and yellow thunderstorm warning. Our next open days at the centre will be on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September for ‘Doors Open Weekend’!

Also this weekend, there’s a Victorian Guided Walk, New Lanark Makers Market and Lanark Running Trail Festival. You can view more local events and list your own free of charge at

Do you have any ideas to improve the town or projects you would like the Development Trust to consider? Please feel free to email us with your ideas or suggestions on

We rely on your support and donations to be able to continue delivering community projects here in Lanark. You can click the ‘Donate’ button below to send a donation via PayPal or why not think about becoming a member of the Development Trust to support more regularly? We are a charitable, non-profit body which carries out projects for the common good. Our aspiration is to develop and deliver priority community projects which have a social, environmental and economic impact. Any support would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Melissa

07538 387 378 / 01555 728 329

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