Popular play area in Falkirk’s Callendar Park reopens after Roman refurb

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There were cheers and smiles all round at the offical reopening of Callendar Park’s children’s play area, following a £200,000 refurbishment.

The facility, which has been closed for most of the summer holidays, has been given a brand new makeover to highlight the Roman heritage of the area.

History has been brought to life with a 4.5 metre high Roman fort play structure, uniquely designed to reflect the style of building the Romans used in Scotland.

There is also a specially constructed roundabout, accessible to all children, including those in wheelchairs and an extended sand play area with a new basket swing.

The play park refurbishment is the first of five projects taking place as part of the Rediscovering the Antonine Wall Project, which spans five local authorities and promotes the wall’s fascinating history and its status as part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It has been funded through support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Falkirk Environment Trust, Kelvin Valley and Falkirk (KVF) LEADER, Falkirk Council/Falkirk Community Trust and public crowdfunding donations.

Other connected initiatives taking place locally include the creation of a distance stone designed by the community, a heritage plaque in Bonnybridge, a Roman themed sculpture at Kinneil, an Antonine Wall trishaw in Bo’ness in partnership with Cycling Without Age

Scotland, a Roman themed mural in Bo’ness, a creative writing project and a community garden at Watling Lodge, Tamfourhill. 

Local children and members of the public joined representatives from the Antonine Guard re-enactors group at the launch as well as councillors, partners from the Rediscovering the Antonine Wall project, Falkirk Community Trust board members and invited guests.

David White, chair of the Falkirk Community Trust’s Board of Directors, said: “Callendar Park is a much loved park in the heart of Falkirk. We are proud to be working in partnership to deliver significant investment in new facilities providing important opportunities for local families to play and learn together.”

HES Antonine Wall World Heritage Co-ordinator Patricia Weeks added: “We’re pleased to have contributed to this fantastic playpark project with our five council partners to help local communities and visitors to the region rediscover the Antonine Wall.”

HES Antonine Wall World Heritage Co-ordinator Patricia Weeks added:

“Working with local communities and partners to enhance and improve the local historical environment across Scotland is a hugely important part of what we do.

“We’re pleased to have contributed to this fantastic playpark project with our five council partners to help both local communities and visitors to the region rediscover the Antonine Wall.”

Acting Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Riona McMorrow said: “Callendar Park play park is such a popular place to take children, particularly at this time of year, it will be a joy to have it back. Once again it will be filled with family fun and laughter as they explore through play the incredible Roman heritage of their surroundings.”

Ian Howarth, chair of KVF LEADER added: “We are delighted to support this new play area, part of the much larger Antonine Wall project which is bringing real community, heritage and tourism benefits to the area.”