Falkirk now boasts Scotland’s first tap-in-a-park refill spout

Nicola Wallace (31) and daughter Aila Robertson (3) from Larbert put the new tap to the test
Nicola Wallace (31) and daughter Aila Robertson (3) from Larbert put the new tap to the test

Falkirk has become home to Scottish Water’s first ever water refill tap in a park, reinventing within Callendar Park a familiar sight from yesteryear.

In days gone by many parks across Scotland had wayside metal drinking fountains in convenient locations, ideal in days when plastic bottles and bottled water were all but unknown.

Pictured with the new tap are  Councillor Paul Garner with members of the Sinclair family from Denny - Lauchlan (4),  Merryn  (2),  Ewan (6) and mum Rachel.

Pictured with the new tap are Councillor Paul Garner with members of the Sinclair family from Denny - Lauchlan (4), Merryn (2), Ewan (6) and mum Rachel.

They became mere relics (along with many larger ornamental fountains) by around the early 70’s - but now Scottish Water has launched a 21st century version of the once popular resource.

The new Top Up Tap is now up and running in 170-acre Callendar Park where plenty of walkers, joggers, dog owners and families pass every day.

Unlike the park taps some may remember from the days of black and white TV the new high tech version tracks water usage and records cost savings.

It’s also meant for use as a bottle refill device, rather than merely for a quick swig from a bubbling tin spout, as in days gone by.

The new tap is part of Scottish Water’s national initiative - Your Water Your Life - to get more people to carry a reusable bottle.

The distincive blue gizmo is sited on the mound near Callendar House, near a welknown landmark, Norway Maple, said to mark the site of a burial ground of soldiers who fought Cromwell’s troops in the British Civil War.

A number of groups which regularly use the park helped to launch the feature, including members of running group Falkirk Victoria Harriers, staff and users from Cycling Without Age and outdoor learning group Under The Trees.

Paul Finnie, Sport and Recreation Manage at Falkirk Community Trust said: “We are all trying to reduce the impact of single use plastics and this innovation will not only improve the facilities on offer for customers but also help protect our environment”.

Falkirk MP John McNally said: “This new water tap not only stops people relying on single use plastic by refilling their own containers but it also encourages them to drink more water.

“Now families out for the day with their children, as well as joggers and dog walkers will have easy access to fresh, Scottish drinking water”.

Councillor Paul Garner, Falkirk Council’s environment spokesperson, said: “Scotland has always had high quality drinking water that allows everyone to enjoy this great natural resource wherever they are.

“The tap in Callendar Park will ensure that local residents and visitors alike have access 24/7 to this free facility.”

Also at the launch were members of the charity Kidney Kids Scotland, which supports children with renal and urological conditions and their families.

The charity’s manager, Karen McFarlane, said: “The Your Water your Life campaign is a wonderful initiative.

“We are encouraging each Scottish child to drink at least one refilled bottle of tap water throughout their school day.

“We encourage parents, grandparents, carers, teachers and all child role models to get on board with this campaign.”