Town's new pocket park to open with activity-packed ceremony

Work on the Ellenor Fenn Garden in Dereham

Work on the Ellenor Fenn Garden in Dereham - Credit: Noah Vickers

The opening of an eagerly-anticipated pocket park in Dereham will take place next weekend with an activity-packed ceremony.

The opening ceremony for the Ellenor Fenn Garden is set for 11am on Saturday, September 11, and will be followed by children’s activities and complimentary refreshments available in the Baptist Church garden nearby. 

Landscape gardeners EG Grounds Care have been working on the site in Wright's Walk for the past 10 weeks. 

Director Matthew Jervis said: “We often get people stopping and chatting to us about the garden and now they can see it, interest has increased even more.”

A plan showing the garden's layout

A plan showing the garden's layout - Credit: Sue Walker

The East Angles Brass Band will play before and after the ceremony.

Bee, bird and hedgehog boxes will be unveiled, and for the children there will be a large blackboard in the wildlife area, along with storytelling and arts and crafts. 

Member organisations from the aboutDereham Partnership will give out information on their activities.

Well-known Dereham resident Joyce Miller will read her poem ‘Wake Up Britain’ and some of the plant donors will do some planting. 

The Ellenor Fenn Garden in progress

The garden in progress, pictured on 13 August 2021. The blue hoarding has been up surrounding the now-developed wasteland since 2005. - Credit: Noah Vickers

In the old M&Co shop window, there will be two exhibitions: The Dereham Heritage Trust will have a display about Ellenor and her husband John Fenn and there will be a photographic display of the garden’s construction journey.

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Mike Webb, chairman of aboutDereham, said: “We’ve had lots of donations for the garden including the building and painting of wildlife boxes, planters and plants, signage, balloons, people giving their creative skills in design, many hours of research and planning, yarnbombing exhibits and much more - it’s been a great job all round.”

From left, Jerry Fuller from Dencora, Mike Webb, aboutDereham, Matthew Jervis

From left, Jerry Fuller from Dencora, Mike Webb, aboutDereham, Matthew Jervis, contractor and councillor Paul Hewett from Breckland Council at the site of the future Ellenor Fenn Park. - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

Breckland District Council’s executive member for property and projects Paul Hewett said: “The transformation of [a] small wasteland into a pleasant and tranquil place to visit and hold outdoor community events has been truly amazing.

“The garden has multiple uses, which includes accommodating marquees, hosting performances and market stalls, which will help boost footfall in the town centre and business for local retailers.

“I’m delighted that Breckland’s investment in this project will promote the town centre and help our community to thrive, and look forward to seeing residents enjoying this wonderful space for many years to come.”

If you or your community group would like to hold a small event in the garden, please contact Debbie Middlebrook at Dencora on 01603 433100.