Focusing on food through the ages

The popular garden
The popular garden
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It’s a familiar sight to the thousands of people who visit Callendar House each year.

But the walled garden at the rear of the historic property has now re-opened with a very modern purpose.

The garden will be used as educational space to teach how attitudes to growing food have changed down through the centuries, and why it’s important to consider how sustainable current growth methods are.

Now called ‘Cultivating Earth’, it signals a different approach to running the historic garden from Falkirk Community Trust, which is responsible for the property.

Peter Stott, heritage team leader at the Trust, said: “Previously, the walled garden had an 1820s theme, but we realised that this wasn’t working too well as the garden is next to several high-rise flats.

“We’re trying to encourage people to think about heritage as something that is built now and will be enjoyed by people in the future.”

The ethos of the new project is best summed up by the Native American proverb: ‘We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children’ - one of several quotes which can now be found on plaques in the garden.

The revamped greenspace was designed in partnership between Forth Environment Link and the community trust, and was part funded by Falkirk Council, Falkirk Environment Trust, Oran Environmental Solutions and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Maintenance will be carried out by volunteers from Caledonian Clubhouse.

Peter added: “Schools and community groups will be able to take part in a series of hands-on activities. We’ll be looking at two distinct periods of history – the time of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Second World War, and how they treated the need to grow food.”

Entrance to the walled garden, and Callendar House, is free.