Richard’s head­ing for pas­tures new

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

Castlemilk Park’s com­mu­nity wood­land of­fi­cer is set to say a fond farewell to the wood­land area.

Richard Bolton will leave at the end of this month to take on new chal­lenges, hav­ing worked for Cas­sil­toun Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion for the past six years.

In his time at the park he has spear­headed sev­eral new ini­tia­tives and groups, from pump­kin fes­ti­vals to arche­o­log­i­cal digs, com­mu­nity days and his­tory groups, help­ing the park grow in pop­u­lar­ity.

He said: “It’s go­ing to be very strange to leave.

“I think it’s time for a new chal­lenge. I’ll be sad to go but it is time to pass the ba­ton to some­one else.

“The or­gan­i­sa­tion has been great over the years and it’s been a real plea­sure to work here.

“I didn’t have a back­ground work­ing with hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions but they have trans­formed the wood­lands.

“When I started peo­ple said there was no point in do­ing any­thing with the park and I think there was a lot of ap­a­thy about it.

“You just ex­pected to see lit­ter and things like that around the place and no-one felt things would change.

“I’d see all my posters for events ripped down straight away but would just put them back up – that doesn’t hap­pen now.

“Now you see peo­ple in the park walk­ing around and play­ing there reg­u­larly.”

Richard be­lieves the reg­u­lar events held by Cas­sil­toun have made a dif­fer­ence.

He said: “Things like the pump­kin fes­ti­val ev­ery Hal­loween have been en­joy­able.

“Last year we had 1,300 peo­ple over the four days and you had peo­ple com­ing along, carv­ing their pump­kin and then get­ting ex­cited when spot­ting their pump­kin in the fes­ti­val it­self.

“I’ve re­ally en­joyed the health walks, from April to Septem­ber ev­ery year.

“We broke the 1,000mile mark this year and it’s just great see­ing peo­ple dis­cover the walk­ing, or hav­ing all these in­ter­est­ing peo­ple come to speak at the his­tory group.

“I’m sure I’ll be back to the park be­cause it’s so beau­ti­ful, a hid­den trea­sure.”

Clair Mal­pas, re­gen­er­a­tion man­ager at Cas­sil­toun Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “Over the past six years the wood­lands has un­der­gone a mas­sive trans­for­ma­tion and has be­come a place that is well used and loved by lo­cal peo­ple.

“It has de­liv­ered sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits with in­creased ac­cess to greenspace for recre­ation and new em­ploy­ment and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“There is still work to be done and Cas­sil­toun will con­tinue to work with our fun­ders and part­ners to build on the suc­cesses of the past few years.”

On the moveRichard Bolton is leav­ing the Cas­sil­toun group

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