National gardening award for local educator


Stuart Ritchie, Educational Gardener at Castlebank Horticultural Centre has been awarded a 'Certificate of Merit' from The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (The Caley)

This award recognises individuals who have provided a significant service to gardening and horticulture in Scotland. Stuart was nominated for his work in maintaining Castlebank Park's beautiful gardens on his own during 2020's first lockdown, whilst also simultaneously growing fresh produce for the local community and delivering virtual educational activities. 

The awards are usually presented at a dinner and awards ceremony, but were presented virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. 

Further information about Stuart's award can be read here on The Caley's website.

The first phase of Castlebank Horticultural Centre, the growing compound opened in May 2014. The second phase, the Community Hub, opened in November 2018 and is now home to a full-time Educational Gardener and a year-long programme of educational activities, volunteering opportunities and community events. When COVID-19 restrictions allow, rooms at the centre are also available for hire for business, community and personal lets. The centre is managed by Lanark Community Development Trust. Proceeds from the centre’s activities and hires are returned to the Development Trust to reinvest in the centre, and the ongoing development and maintenance of the Castlebank Park gardens. Click here to find out more about the project.

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