These updates will be quarterly and will give people an insight into the works that are going on in the park.
Last autumn we started our program of planting replacement parkland trees to eventually replace the veteran trees which will unfortunately die off over time. Over twenty oak trees, donated by International Timber, were planted and we hope to plant more every year if external funding can be raised to pay for the costs.
Sadly we lost a few mature trees during the winter storms. These took days to clear up and caused areas of the park to be closed to the public during the works. However everyone was made aware of the on-going works and routes were clearly signed to lessen inconvenience and as such everyone understood our reasons for the closures and we did not receive any complaints during this time. We also removed ten mature Lime trees on safety grounds. Six of these were within the play area and were cut down to a height of two meters. These “stumps” will hopefully be carved with a chainsaw as part of the improvements to the play area and we are preparing bids to HLF and other major funders to support the works in our new five year management plan approved by the FCT board last autumn.
Which leads me seamlessly, to the fact that, we were awarded a grant to spend on improving play provision in the park. This was from Tesco through their “Bags of Help” fund raising scheme and the worthy causes were voted for by members of the public. We were awarded the top grant of £12K by the people of Falkirk to spend on inclusive play and upgrades at Castle Callendar. We will be putting this work out to quote shortly.
At a recent staff forum Scott Allan one of our gardeners within the park suggested we should put a donation box in the park. I’m happy to say it’s been a great success, since it was installed in the play area, and the money collected will be used as match funding for future children’s play and activity bids.
The costly superloo has now been withdrawn from service. As an alternative the public toilet is now opened every day at 7am. With cleaning and maintenance carried out by leisure services staff.
As part of the changes to the mowing regime, and in accordance with the masterplan for the park, areas are now being allowed to grow in. We have had signs in the park for two months now informing the public about this. We have also removed the old and tired plants from one of the shrub beds on the frontage and replaced with bulbs and wildflower seed. This is just starting to flourish and will give an idea of how the park will look once other areas are turned into wildflower meadows.
Looking forwards we are having our first volunteer session in the park on Wednesday 8th June and are going to hold volunteer days on a monthly basis. All are welcome so dig out your old clothes and come along and muck in!
The annual tree safety survey is about to take place so if you see a strange man with a clip board walking round looking at the trees don’t be frightened to say hello!
We are just starting to sand dress the lawns at the front and back of the house. We will follow this up with over seeding and some fertiliser. These areas will be taped off for a short time, weather depending, while the work progresses but the results will be worth it.
The second dilapidated shrub bed on Callendar Road will be taken out and rotivated. The area will be planted with summer bulbs. This will come to flower as the spring bulbs die off prolonging the splash of colour on the parks frontage.
If you’d like to come to our volunteer day or if you have any questions we can be contacted at - firstname.lastname@example.org