Your Say - Does Dereham have enough open space?

Land that's for sale at Etling Green, Dereham.
Byline: Sonya Duncan

the town’s council is considering the creation of a new 160-acre country park on the town’s north-eastern edge. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Does Dereham have enough green open space, and in the right places?

Reporter Noah Vickers put that question to people in Dereham, following the news that the town’s council is considering the creation of a new 160-acre country park on the town’s north-eastern edge. 

Kurtis Goody

Kurtis Goody said another park would be a good thing for the town's children. - Credit: Noah Vickers

Kurtis Goody, a 30-year-old sales assistant who lives in the town, said: “A new park would be entertaining for the kids because you've got soft play at Strikes [Bowling Alley] and you've got a couple of parks, but they're more aimed at babies and older kids. There's not much for the ages of, say, 6-14.”

Martyn Turner

Martyn Turner said the town was well-served when it came to open space. - Credit: Martyn Turner

Martyn Turner, a 76-year-old disability support worker from Scarning, said the town was well-served when it came to open space. 

“I enjoy walking at Scarning Water Meadows and there’s the Neatherd Moor on the other side of the town, so it’s not a problem,” he said. 

Jamie King

Jamie King said he was looking forward to the arrival of the Ellenor Fenn Pocket Park. - Credit: Noah Vickers

Jamie King, a 46-year-old delivery driver who lives in the town, said he was looking forward to the arrival of the Ellenor Fenn Pocket Park. 


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“It would really open the [Wright’s Walk] area up, because right now the fencing really cuts everything off - it would feel more spacious with a park,” he said. 

Liliana Thomas

Liliana Thomas said she takes her dog for walks on Neatherd Moor. - Credit: Noah Vickers

Liliana Thomas, 28, a supervisor at a cable manufacturing company who lives in the town, said she thought Dereham currently has enough open space, but that it could become a problem soon. 

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“I think so - we’ve got Scarning Fen, and I take my dog for walks on the Neatherd Moor,” she said.

“But Dereham does seem to be getting more and more people. I hope we don’t get too many people - that’s one of the nice things about living in Dereham, because you’re near Norwich, but you have more space nearby,” she added.

Peter Wright

Peter Wright said the need for open spaces was especially pressing due to Covid. - Credit: Noah Vickers

Peter Wright, 67, retired and living in Mattishall, said: “In this Covid environment, it would probably be better to have more open spaces. 

“This has been like this for months and years,” he said, pointing at the soon-to-be-unveiled pocket park on Wright’s Walk. 

Kerrie Wollen and her daughter Laila.

Kerrie Wollen and her daughter Laila. - Credit: Noah Vickers

Kerrie Wollen, a 34-year-old supermarket worker who lives in the town, said: “There’s not enough open space in the town centre, not at all.”

"We've got Scarning Fen, but that's a little bit of a trek," she added.

Ms Wollen, who was out with her seven-year-old daughter Laila, said having more open space within easy reach of the town’s shops would “make it easier when you’re out with children, to have a break. It definitely makes a difference.”

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