Clare park moat in running for £12,000 grant

Volunteers at work at Clare Castle Country Park

Volunteers at work at Clare Castle Country Park - Credit: Archant

The moat at a historic Suffolk country park could be restored, thanks to a grant of up to £12,000 which is up for grabs.

Clare Castle Country Park, in Clare near Sudbury, has been selected as one of three finalists in the Tesco east of England region’s ‘Bags of Help’ community initiative.

This means that the park will receive at least £8,000 and possibly up to £12,000 if enough people vote for the project in their local Tesco store over the coming weeks.

The company has set up the scheme to enable it to donate to charity all of the money it raises from the charges it is now legally required to make for plastic bags.

The country has been divided into regions and a panel for each region has picked three applications that will each be awarded either £12,000, £10,000 or £8,000.

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Customers then vote in their local Tesco stores for their favourite of the three projects, which all benefit green spaces in the region.

Suffolk County Council used to own Clare Country Park but was unable to afford the upkeep as its grants from central government were cut. After much discussion, it was passed to the town council and is now managed by a new board of trustees along with more than 100 volunteers.

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The county council initially handed over £315,000 to pay for management of the 35-acre site, which is visited by around 180,000 people a year and contains the remains of a castle listed as an Ancient Monument, two listed Victorian railway buildings and the ‘New Cut’ branch of the River Stour.

Geoffrey Bray, chair of trustees of Clare Castle Country Park said: “I am delighted that our project to improve the moat in the park has been chosen as one of the three that will receive a grant (from Tesco).

“The moat has been neglected for many years and this grant will enable specialist work to be undertaken in support of our many volunteers.

“It is now up to those who shop and vote in Tesco whether we receive the minimum grant of £8,000 or one of the higher figures.

“The larger the grant the more we will be able to do.”

Anyone shopping in Tesco in Sudbury or Haverhill between February 27 and March 6 will be able to vote for the project entitled ‘Restoring the moat at Clare Castle Country Park’.

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