New community garden takes shape at Nowton thanks to team effort

Nowton Neighbourhood Residents Association planting bulbs and wild flowers in waste woodland off Gra

Nowton Neighbourhood Residents Association planting bulbs and wild flowers in waste woodland off Grange Walk on the Nowton Estate in Bury St Edmunds. Hardwick Primary School pupil Grace Hamre in the woodland - Credit: Archant

A Bury St Edmunds community has come together to transform an area of waste woodland on an estate into a garden for the area.

The Nowton Neighbourhood Residents’ Association came up with the idea for the woodland garden in the space between Grange Walk and Home Farm Lane on the Nowton Estate.

With funding from the locality budgets of borough councillors Sarah Stamp and Patrick Chung, who represent Southgate, the donation of some of the bulbs by Bury in Bloom and support from Nowton Park Nurseries, the idea is becoming a reality.

Last Wednesday, children from nearby Hardwick Primary School helped to plant 1,250 garlic bulbs, and were joined by members of the residents’ association, Phil Ewing, from Nowton Park Nurseries, Alison Findlay from the Royal Horticultural Society and Mr Chung.

Cyclamen was planted a few weeks ago, buddleia was also planted on the day, with more to come, and snowdrop bulbs and aconites will be planted in the future.

Bark chipping will mean wider footpaths so parents with children in pushchairs can also make the most of the garden.

Ann Williamson, chairman of the residents’ association, said: “The idea is it’s for the community.

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“There are people on this estate who don’t have gardens, or people on their own or who are lonely, and if they are physically unable to help out they can just look at it.

“It’s a really, really untidy area of the estate we wanted to make look better.”

Teaching assistant Sue Hammond-Bray, who runs Hardwick Primary’s gardening club, said the seven children from the gardening club who she took along last Wednesday had had a “brilliant time”.

“We have a great link with the community here so we get involved with community projects like the litterpick.

“The mayor, Patrick Chung, lives locally and has a good link with the school.”

The residents’ association hopes to involve pupils throughout the development of the garden, designing a plaque and naming the site, and having trees, some of which are 200 years old, named to add to the educational benefit of the project.

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