New Roman-themed park plan for Falkirk’s youngsters

The Antonine Wall crosses Falkirk district including this well-preserved site at Roughcastle
The Antonine Wall crosses Falkirk district including this well-preserved site at Roughcastle

Falkirk will get a share of nearly £1m to preserve and promote the fragile remains of the ancient Roman barrier, the Antonine Wall.

And part of the National Lottery Funding of £980,600 will be used to help create a new Roman-themed play area in Falkirk’s Callendar Park.

Other plans for the cash include training a ‘legion’ of volunteers to help look after the ancient turf barrier, which briefly marked the northermost point of the Roman Empire .

Its impact on the landscape was massive and traces of the wall can still be found throughout the district.

The lottery funding aims to address a lack of awareness of this 63km-long World Heritage Site – particularly among young people.

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Replica distance markers, based on the Roman originals, will be placed at five different sites along the wall, includeing one planned for Falkirk’s Cow Wynd.

The Roman play area at Callendar Park will be one of five created at sites near to the wall for young children to explore and play.

A programme of 30 community-designed projects, will take place across the five local authorities that the Wall passes through, and six of these are being planned for the Falkirk council area, including one in Bonnybridge and one in Bo’ness.

The money will also help develop resources for schools as well as funding talks, tours and a remake of the 1950’s Walk the Wall film.

Local volunteers will also be part of a 21st Century legion of 300 people, who will co-design projects in their communities, act as tour guides, help with research and raise awareness.

Councillor Robert Spears, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “The award will help us to continue to recognise the importance of the Antonine Wall locally as part of our heritage as well as a exciting visitor attraction.

“Visitors will soon be able to make even more from their visit to the various sites around the local area and we look forward to getting started soon.”

It is hoped work on the play park, with extra funding from Falkirk Environment Trust and Falkirk Council/Community Trust, will start next year.