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Latest News - October 2021


BART (Bristol Avon Rivers Trust) will be removing one of the weirs on the River Marden as it runs through the park.


This will help improve the habitats along the Marden by restoring the natural flow of the river


The weir removal is planned to start on the week of Monday 8th November and is likely to take 4-5 days.

Click on the image for a larger version.



CALNE CIVIC AWARDS, Certificate of Achievement

At Calne Town Council’s annual Parish Meeting on Friday 19 March, CARP was awarded a certificate of achievement–‘ in recognition for their amazing work in maintaining and enhancing Castlefields Park for the benefit of the community and visitors to the area’.

The certificate was presented to CARP by the Town Mayor, Cllr Robert Merrick.

The certificate of achievement is awarded each year to several individuals, groups or businesses who have either provided Outstanding Voluntary Contributions or Continued Support to the Community of Calne.

CARP would like to thank its members and volunteers for their continued support.




With the help of grants and donations from: Landfill Community Fund- The Hills Group Ltd, Calne Area Board, Calne Town Council, Haine & Smith Charitable Trust, and Chalford Building Supplies the paths in the Pocket Park have been upgraded to a composite surface.

CARP volunteers have been very busy renovating the planted areas with gravel and new plants.

The Castlefields Pocket Park was first initiated in 2005 with a grant from ‘Peoples Places Awards.

There is still some planting and other works to do but the revamp of the ‘Castlefields Pocket Park’ Is almost complete.




Calne's Winter festival proved very popular as usual this year and CARP's stall was very busy throughout the afternoon and evening.

We are very pleased to say that we raised a total of £180.80 towards our work in the park. Many thanks to all our supporters and helpers.

Please CLICK HERE for more photos of the day.



CALNE IN BLOOM 2019 awards.

In this year's RHS 'It's your neighbourhood' awards Castlefields again received 'L5 outstanding'. Congratulations and a great big thank you to everybody for all of the your work.

Our grateful thanks to Waitrose.

CARP would like to thank Waitrose of Chippenham and it's costumers for their recent donation of £78.00 towards our work in the park.



CARP volunteers were joined by members and friends of Calne Rotary at their work party on Sunday 15 September.

Between them they planted 4000 crocus corms as part of the Rotary Club's 'End Polio NOW' international campaign

thank you to River Warriors, Calne Cubs and Scouts, Venture Scouts, Calne First Responders, Mayor Robert Merrick and all the mums, dads, spouses, partners and local residents for supporting this event.




The Council’s tree surgeon has had a look at the Beech Tree. He thinks the boring beetle which caused the holes and sawdust residue is no longer present in the tree. He will continue to monitor it and also plans to x-ray the tree to establish the limits of the damage.

These tests have now been carried out and recommendations are as follows:

The Resistograph tests showed some decay and confirm the X-ray readings. Although the tree is large, it is sheltered from the winds by the buildings to the east and a stand of pine trees to the west. It is likely that the tree will decline further and there is no way to stop this just to reduce the forces acting on the tree.
A sympathetic reduction all around would reduce the forces of the wind on the crown.


Easter Egg & Bunny Hunt 2019

Thanks to the glorious weather this year's 'Easter Egg and Bunny Hunt' was another resounding success.

The number of children attending the event was up on last year, each using an amount of energy in preparation for the consumption of their prize.

CARP would like to thank all the families that took part in our fundraising event. Thanks to the volunteers that helped before, and on the day, Also our grateful thanks to the following organisations and businesses for their support: Butfield Breach, Quemerford Post Office, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Mario’s Ice creams and Calne Scouts,

An amazing total of £273 was raised.




Calnes Winter festival, proved very popular as usual this year and CARP's stall was very busy throughout the afternoon and evening.

We are pleased to say that we raised a total of £126.20 towards our work in the park. Many thanks to all our supporters and helpers, especially Tesco and the Co-Op stores for their donations.



'OUTSTANDING' award for Castlefields.

In this year's RHS South West in Bloom awards. Calne was awarded 'Silver Gilt'.

Castlefields received an 'outstanding' award. Congratulations and a great big thank you to everybody for all of the hard work.

As part of this year's park entry, CARP included a Well dressing at Chaveywell Spring. This was done in conjunction with some local schools and groups. It has obviously proved popular and it is hoped to make this a regular part of the parks inclusion.



'Jubilee Queen' gets a makeover.

Over the week of 13-17 August, CARP volunteers gave our boat, the Jubilee Queen, a complete wash and brush-up. Rust and flaking paint was removed and stabilised followed by a new coat of paint.

Our thanks to Calne Town Council who supplied the paint and our team of volunteers for their time and effort.

The boat name and decals were replaced a week later leaving the Jubilee Queen in 'ship-shape' condition for years to come.



Planning permission for the wall re-build and other works west of Chaveywell have now been granted.
An extract of the proposal reads:
‘To landscape the area and provide a new, surfaced, path from this point to top level of the park. This will provide new pedestrian access from the Castle Walk entrance to the park and improve the leisure value of the park to the community.’
A full notice of the proposal can be viewed on the Wiltshire council's website, application 18/04034/ful.

Easter Egg & Bunny Hunt 2018

Despite the cold and damp conditions, this year's 'Easter Egg and Bunny Hunt' was another resounding success.

The number of children attending the event was good, each using an amount of energy in preparation for the consumption of their prize.

A total of £89.16 was raised. CARP would like to thanks its members who's help make the event possible. Also our grateful thanks to the following organisations and businesses for their support: Buttfield Breach, Calne Scouts, The Co-op, Iceland, Martins Newsagents, Quemerford P.O & Stores, Sainsbury's, Tesco, & Wilkinson's


Fitness trail, Gym equipment in the hay-meadow.

Two more pieces of gym equipment, a cross-trainer and a leg press, have now been installed.


Carp would like to thank Calne Area Board of Wiltshire Council, Calne Town Council, Tesco “Bags of Help” and Calne Lions for their contributions towards these new additions to our fittness trail.




At our workparty on June 11th Carp members installed a seat in memory of Joyce Mugford, a long-standing supporter of Castlefields.

The bench is situated close to the canal wharf and Chaveywell Bridge.

Our grateful thanks go to Joyce's family for their kind donation.

It is with great sadness to report that Joyce Mugford has passed away, after a short illness.

Joyce was CARP’s most senior member and supporter, chief park womble and scourge of cyclists straying from the cycle path. She celebrated her 90th birthday earlier in the year. Although confined to her home for a few years , she visited the park in August for a special birthday picnic party. As one of Calne’s characters she will be missed by all who knew her.

Joce has personally donated, and planted, many of the Snowdrops in the woods around the park. They will be a lasting tribute to her.


RHS It's Your Neighbourhood award. We've done it again!!!

CARP has been awarded Level 5 'outstanding' by the judges of the 'It's Your Neighbourhood' category of the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Britain-in-bloom' competition for the FOURTH year running! Well done everyone.

Castle mound wall renovations has begun.

After a long consultation and design period, the restoration of the wall around the 'castle mound' has begun. It is believed the work will take about 5-6 months to complete. it should be noted that the cyclepath will be diverted around the hay-meadow during this period.

Upgraded, Fitness trail, Gym equipment in the hay-meadow.

Following a successful application, CARP has received a grant of £10.999 from Virador Credits towards 5 new units of outdoor gym equipment has been installed in the hay-meadow.

Sainsbury’s Store Calne provided a significant 3rd party contribution and a further donation of £250, along with some technical advice, was received from St Mary’s Sports Centre. These contributions were crucial to us securing the grant funding from Viridor.

Carp would like to thank St Mary's SC and Sainsbury’s for their help with this achievement. Thanks, also for the many letters of support we have received.


CARP in the running for Sainsbury's 'Charity of the year', again!

We are delighted to announce that CARP has been shortlisted as one of the 3 nominees for Sainsbury's Charity of the Year 2016/17. As such shoppers are now invited to select their preferred charity by placing a token in the voting box which is positioned near the fruit and veg aisle. The charity with the greatest number of tokens will become the Charity of the Year.

Please take this opportunity to vote for CARP so that we can once again enjoy the benefits.

Annual Easter Egg and Bunny Hunt

This was held on Easter Saturday as usual. The event was attended by over 120 children and raised just over £70 which, considering the weather, was a very good turn out.

Our thanks go to all those who helped on the day and also to Sainsbury's and Estate agents 'Butfield Breach'' for their contributions. Also to Calne Scouts, for keeping us supplied with hot drinks and cake.


The Awards Just Keep on Coming!!

Castlefields Park has been awarded a maximum ‘5 stars’ in the ‘Britain in Bloom South West, Pride in Parks.

The 5 stars award is equivalent to main 'Britain in Bloom's Gold' and was Presented to committee member, Mo Norrington, at a ceremony held at Exeter University.

Again, congratulations and thanks to all of our members who helped to make this possible.





Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) have begun work to improve the flow of the River Marden within the park. With partial funding from the Environment Agency and Wessex Water, BART, and various groups of volunteers, spent two weeks from 19th-28th January using natural woody materials to construct in-stream structures known as ‘brushwood berms’ and ‘flow deflectors’ . These structures will help to improve habitat conditions by re-meandering the river within its own banks so that slow flow conditions are concentrated onto the gravels, cleaning them of silt. The longer term plans are to continue this work along the whole of the river Marden once funding becomes available.

RHS It's Your Neighbourhood award. GREAT NEWS, AGAIN!!!

CARP has been awarded Level 5 'outstanding' by the judges of the 'It's Your Neighbourhood' category of the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Britain-in-bloom' competition for the THIRD year running!.

The Judges comment:

WOW. This area has something to impress at every turn. The gates give you an idea of what to expect inside and one isn’t disappointed. There is something very calming and spiritual about the park and it must be a wonderful place to recharge batteries and calm the nerves. The extensive artwork is a fantastic idea and should be adopted throughout other nature areas. The ring of conifers harps back to Stonehenge and has the same ethereal feel. The landscaping around the well is very sympathetic to the natural environment and the designer should be congratulated. A wonderful place.
A fantastic asset to your town.


The Castle Rediscovered Project

The new 'Calne Castle Rediscovered' information board was unveiled by the Calne Town Mayor, Cllr Howard Marshall, on the site of the old castle in Castlefields. The ceremony was held on Friday 11th September, during Calne Heritage Week, when members of carp and invited guests met with others on a tour of the heritage quarter, led by historian Nick Baxter.
The 'castle Rediscovered Project' which includes the new information board, hedge planting and other works, was made possible by a grant of £3,505.80 from the Big Lottery, ‘ Awards for All’ fund.


CARP is pleased to announced that the CALNE branch of Sainsbury's have chosen us to be their 'Local Charity of the Year for 2015! We would like to take this opportunity to thank Sainsbury's staff for nominating us and the store customers for choosing us in an in store vote. We look forward to working with the local store over the coming year.

Farewell to secretary

At our AGM on 16th July we bid a sad farewell to our secretary for many years, Bill Rowlands. Bill has been working with us since at least 2006 when he played a big part in our successful 'Peoples Millions' Lottery bid. Since 2011 Bill has conducted his role within CARP from his new home in Anglesey. Bill has written us a farewell poem (click here to see it, please use you browsers 'back' button to return to this page).

We are delighted to welcome Sue Court as our new Secretary.


Wall Restoration gets underway!

At last the historic wall within the Park is on track to undergo essential repairs following funding from local company, Hills Homes Developments.
Hills have agreed with park owners, Calne Town Council, to amend the Section 106 agreement relating to the Station Road development, enabling them to provide funding to reinstate the historic wall.
Years of erosion and the intrusion of tree roots have left the wall in a very poor state of repair with parts of it liable to collapse.
Denis Robinson, CARP’s chairman said: “It’s very good news, it’s a big job and it has needed to be done for the last ten years so it’s good Hills Homes have come forward.
The work will mean that the path, part of route 403 of Sustran’s cycleway network, through the park is no longer under threat.
The restoration will be undertaken using the expertise of a conservation architect and in full consultation with conservation officers from Wiltshire Council to ensure that the historic value of the wall is preserved whilst also protecting the surrounding flora and fauna during the project.
A habitat survey will take place before the end of June followed by the removal of vegetation from the wall before a full structural survey can take place.

Wiltshire Life magazine award

Recently CARP was nominated for a Wiltshire Life magazine award in the community group category, and shortlisted to one of three finalists, from a record number of applicants!
At a Charity dinner in Devizes on Saturday it was revealed that CARP had won third place behind ‘Salisbury Street Pastors’ and, joint winners: Aldbourne Youth Council and The Youth Adventure Trust.
Congratulations to all who were nominated. Third place in the face of such strong opposition is good prestige for CARP.


The Castle Rediscovered Project

CARP has received a grant of £3,505.80 from the Big Lottery 'Awards for All’ fund towards our ‘Castle rediscovered project’. Following an archaeological dig in the park in 2010 which identified a building thought to be the long lost ‘Calne Castle’. The Castle rediscovered project aims to identify the building footprint for future generations.
The project will include: Clearing and replanting an area of scrubland, installation of interpretation material and an information board and the planting of more native trees and bulbs ect in the area. The project will also include the removal of a Sycamore tree, which is growing through a very old Yew tree, and the refurbishment of the tree-guard around the Yew. Work has already started clearing the site,other works will commence in due course.

Hedge Planting in the Park

Hedge planting near the Chaveywell flats was undertaken by CARP working party on 16th November, 2014, and continued by John Bentley School Eco Club on the 19th November, 2014. Both days were very successful.


RHS It's Your Neighbourhood award. GREAT NEWS, AGAIN!!!

CARP has been awarded Level 5 'outstanding' by the judges of the 'It's Your Neighbourhood' category of the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Britain-in-bloom' competition for the second year running!.

4star Bug Hotel in Castlefields! Bookings being taken now!!

At the workparty on 17th Novenber the CARP team created a bug hotel, a habitat for insects, frogs, hedgehogs and other small creatures, in the park. We eagerly await it first residents.


RHS It's Your Neighbourhood award. GREAT NEWS!!.

CARP has been awarded Level 5 'outstanding' by the judges of the 'It's Your Neighbourhood' category of the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Britain-in-bloom' competition.
The 'It's Your Neighbourhood' campaign supports local community groups in cleaning up and greening up their immediate environment.
Castlefields was visited by the judges in July and they awarded us 87 points out of a possible 100! This is a great achievement and many thanks must go to everyone who worked so hard in the park or on the committee to achieve this accolade.
Calne, once again achieved an excellent 'Silver Gilt' award in the Britain-in-Bloom competition this year.

Easter Egg & Bunny Hunt 2013

The Annual Easter egg & Bunny Hunt was held as usual this year on Easter Saturday. Despite the bitter weather, interspersed with spells of sunshine!, we think it was our biggest turnout yet. Everyone seemed to enjoy the hunt and quizzes and there were many very nice compliments as to the effort everyone had put in both with the event and the on-going work in the park. The WBCT was kept busy ferrying passengers up and down the canal and there were demonstrations of wood turning and nest making throughout the afternoon. A huge thank you to everyone involved



Jubilee Tree Project

The now 'inner' circle of Pine trees located in Castle House garden, at the top of the mound, are believed to have been planted to commemorate the diamond jubilee of queen Victoria in 1897. These trees we are told are now approaching the end of their life span. It was proposed, therefore, that an outer circle of 12 trees be planted to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee this year, 2012,
A grant of £2,443 was awarded by SITA Trust, with a further £279 from CARP's funds.
The planting of this circle of trees was completed in time for the opening ceremony, presided over by the Marquis of Lansdowne and Calne's Mayor, Roy Golding, on 28th October 2012.
Perhaps more importantly, the grant from SITA, and subsequent planting, mean that Castlefields Park is now designated as a 'Queen Elizabeth II Field' and as such will forever be a protected open space.











Town Lock Project

Work to renovate the Calne Town Lock in Castlefields Park is now complete and an official opening ceremony was held on May 5th were the Town Mayor, Glenis Ansell, Named the boat 'JUBILEE QUEEN' and launched it with champagne. A competition to name the boat was won by Abi and Francis Jordan, aged five and seven, of Calne











The improvements have included: Completion of brickwork restoration, faux lock gates at both ends of the lock structure, themed picnic/play area within the lock designed to give the appearance of a canal narrowboat in the lock, interpretation boards and picnic tables. The project is designed to establish the lock as a historic feature within the park and so provide a visible link to the Wilts & Berks Canal as part of Calne's industrial heritage.

The work was carried out by Thornbury Surfacing Ltd., to plans drawn up by Nicholas Pearson Associates.

A a total of £78,086 has been received towards the Town Lock Project.
CARP would like to thank the following organisations and businesses for their support:

  • Groundworks (for the Big Lottery)                    £ 49,785
  • Hills Waste LCF                                                      £ 19,040
  • Calne Lions Club                                                    £   3,940
  • Wiltshire Council (Calne Area Board)              £   2,821
  • Wessex Water                                                         £   2,500

For more news and pictures, [CLICK HERE]

Chaveywell Spring project

A grant award of £7,254 from 'The Big Lottery fund', together with £2,000 from Wiltshire council has enabled CARP to undertake and complete this project. The walls around the Chaveywell spring area have been restored and masonry artwork in the form of some stone pig’s heads, which were once part of the roof buttresses in the old Harris factory in Calne, have been incorporated. A hard surface around the water’s edge and seating has also been provided.
Volunteers assisted the professional contractor with some of the work including some lime mortar repointing of the stone work.
The Big Lottery Fund distributes half of the National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.

Castle House Garden Project

In November 2007 CARP was awarded a grant of £68,600 from the National lottery’s 'Big Lottery Fund' towards the restoration of Castle House Gardens, part of the Castlefields Park area. The work involved the laying of new path surfaces, new benches and picnic tables, and fencing. Other ground and tree works were carried out to make more of the gardens accessible and attractive to local people and visitors to Calne. Most of this grant has now been allocated and, on the 13th September 2008, Carp held a ‘Party in the Park’ to show what had been achieved and to thank the people of Calne for their support. For more details click here.

View from the Gardens towards the canal
Castle House Gardens

Paths and access improvements

North Wilts District Council, the then, owners of Castlefields Park, obtained funding through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, to improve the drainage and surfaces to the paths and cycleway within Castle park. The path improvement work was done in conjunction with improvements in Castle house gardens allowing a continuity of surfaces throughout the park. As well as the drainage and path work in the park, fencing has been erected along the River Marden at the Station Road entrance to the park.

The riverside pocket park

With the help of a grant from the Living Spaces scheme CARP have completed a pocket park at the edge of the River Marden on land formally part of the gardens of Marden House. the pocket park has been fully planted and is now into it's fourth year of growth.

Seating areas with artworks designed by local children and other ceramics by a local artist have been incorporated in the park.

Some of the artworks and seating in the pocket park
Spring flowers in the park

A tree and surrounding ceramic feature has been positioned in the path near to the Town Lock. This feature has been commissioned to celebrate the 30th year of the Calne Music & Arts Festival Held in October 2008.

Music & Arts Festival tree
Some of the ceramic segments surrounding the tree

Wild Flower Meadow

The wild flower meadow is cut twice a year in accordance with the Wildlife Trust's recommendations. . The first cut, around June, is designed to knock back thistles and vigorous grasses that may have taken hold over the winter and the autumn cut gives the meadow plants the best chance to flower and set seed

The bench seat installed on the edge of the meadow is in regular use and a stone cairn has been erected at the entrance to the meadow. The cairn incorporates an information panel which was designed by a student at Lackham Agricultural College, Lacock, as part of her studies on the HND countryside manage course.


The stone cairn, the beginning of the Fitness Trail and one of the Nature Trail brass rubbing posts, in the wild flower meadow

Some of the fitness trail equipment around the wild flower meadow.

Activities within Castle park include:


Nature trail:

                         A series of eight brass etchings around the park. Children, or adults, can follow the arrows and collect 'rubbings' from the brasses using a crayon and some paper.


Fitness trail:

                         A series of six exercise platforms around the park enabling a person to jog from one to another performing a different exercise on each.

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust: Calne Town Lock

Restoration on the brickwork at the downstream end of the lock is now complete. Volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group have held several work parties at the site and the Melksham, Calne & Chippenham Branch of the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust have continued with the brickwork along the lock chamber since then. The next phase of the Town lock restoration will continue as funds allow.

Chaveywell Wharf

The Melksham, Calne and Chippenham branch of the WBCT have received a grant of £1800 from the Calne Area Board of Wiltshire Council and, together with some of their own funds, have made improvements to Wharf and surrounding area at Chaveywell. The work included  raising the wharf to make it easier for people to climb aboard tripboats, a new retaining wall and improved drainage.

W R G at work on the Town Lock

The new wharf at Chaveywell

Interpretation Boards

There are two main interpretation boards, one situated at the entrance to the Park in Station Road, Calne and the other along the cycleway as you enter the Park from the direction of Chippenham, near Black Dog Halt.
They continue to be a great success in promoting the Castlefields Canal and River Park vision, as well as supplying general information to our visitors.
A further board by Chaveywell Bridge shows Castle Park’s position with respect to the Wilts & Berks Canal.

Bi-monthly Meetings

CARP now hold bi-monthly Committee Meetings, usually in the Council Chamber of Calne Town Hall, at 7.00pm on the third Thursday of each alternate month. Visitors are welcome. Please come along and learn of CARP’s activities. If you would like to join us, become a member and participate in the future planning and programming of works you will be most welcome.

updated 11/6/2020