Lottery grant brings club’s plans out of the long grass

The grass is looking greener for Castle Park Bowling Club in Penrith after a grant from their local community lottery helped buy much-needed mowing equipment.

The £900 grant from Pride in Penrith Lottery means the club can buy kit that will enable them to return the green to its former high standard and attract county games and visiting teams, putting the town back on the national bowling map. 

“We took on the maintenance of the green after the council stopped doing it due to budget cuts, and we did a lot of events like coffee mornings and raffles to raise £7,500 to buy a specialist lawnmower,” said Harry Beech, the club president. “This grant from the lottery is fantastic because it means we can now get one of the extensions we need for it. This ‘verticutter’ attachment cuts the grass in a way that helps it grow straighter and stronger.”

Maintaining the green is a big commitment for the club. The grass has to be cut several times and week and club members have had to undergo training to pick up the skills and knowledge to nurture the green back to vitality.

“This used to be the main bowling green in the county but it’s been five years or more since we were able to host county games here,” Harry said. “If we can get the green up to its former high standard, we’d hope to get that level of competition back, as well as hosting visiting teams from elsewhere in the country.”

It’s a goal that would breathe new life into the club and help attract new members. Their efforts have already paid dividends, with noticeable improvements on the green.

“The club members have shown their resilience in recent years, contending with a devastating fire that destroyed the clubhouse and damaged the green, and now taking on the maintenance burden,” said Pride in Penrith Lottery’s chairman, Rob Udale. “I’ve no doubt the club will succeed in making the green one of the best in the county while continuing to offer a very valuable social and leisure facility for the area.”

Rob also encouraged people to take part in this month’s pet vote. A cat or dog from Eden Animal Rescue will set off the lottery’s £500 Christmas special draw, and the public have been voting for the rescued pet they’d like to see press the button.

“There’s still time to join for just £2 a week and be in with a chance of winning the special draw, as well as all our weekly draws throughout the year,” Rob said.

More information about the pet vote and joining the lottery call 07737 049516 or visit our website.