Work starts on new park in heart of town
- Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography
Work on transforming a neglected patch of land at the heart of Dereham into a community park has got under way.
Landscape gardeners have moved onto the site off Wright's Walk and Chapel Walk - next to the QD store - and it is hoped the public will be able to use the park by late summer.
Mike Webb, Chairman of the volunteer group aboutDereham Partnership, which is carrying out the work, said: "The garden will feature a performance area, a children's wildlife area and grass with seating to support a range of outdoor community events.
"The garden will easily accommodate marquees and market stalls, which will help to boost footfall in the town centre and business for local retailers."
It will be called the Ellenor Fenn Park after an 18th century Dereham resident and pioneer of child-centred education and advocate of home-schooling and open-air learning.
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Paul Hewett, Breckland's portfolio holder for property and projects, said: "I am truly delighted to see this green project enter a new stage and look forward to the seeing the Ellenor Fenn Garden blossom over the coming weeks.
"This green space will be a peaceful space in the heart of one of our busiest towns, while offering a wonderful location for people to meet up while out shopping locally."
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Once the park is open aboutDereham Partnership will oversee events and Dencora will be responsible for booking and scheduling.
Community groups involved in the project include the Dereham Heritage Trust, which has researched Ellenor Fenn so her her life's work could be incorporated into the design.
The Dereham Men's Shed group will be creating bug and bee hotels. Dereham Crafters are creating wildlife yarnbombing exhibits in and around the park and Dereham Library will have a range of local history books available.
The ground work and landscaping is being conducted by Breckland-based EG Grounds Care. Its director, Matthew Jervis, said: "We're very pleased to be given the opportunity to design and create this garden in the heart of Dereham. We want to create a garden that everybody's proud of."