New gateway unveiled by volunteers in Newmarket ahead of national judging

Councillors Warwick Hirst, Andy Drummond and Michael Jeffreys with John Smithson, Anthony and Claire

Councillors Warwick Hirst, Andy Drummond and Michael Jeffreys with John Smithson, Anthony and Claire Haskins and Ed Wombwell at the unveiling of the sculpted archway in Newmarket Picture: FOREST HEATH DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

A new ornamental arch has been unveiled by a Newmarket community group, marking a milestone for an important green space in the town.

The new archway to the Yellow Brick Road footpath Picture: FOREST HEATH DISTRICT COUNCIL

The new archway to the Yellow Brick Road footpath Picture: FOREST HEATH DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

The gateway at the Exeter Road end of the Yellow Brick Road – the green footpath and cycleway that links the town centre with Studlands Park – has been created by metal work sculptor Nigel Kaines.

Mr Kaines’ work has been commissioned at several key sites in west Suffolk and beyond.

The path is being developed by volunteer group Friends of the Yellow Brick Road, who have invited national Green Flag judges to assess their work at the end of the month.

Green Flags are awarded to the best public parks and green spaces in the country, and the volunteers aspire to achieve Green Flag status for the area, which runs parallel to the Newmarket Brook.


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Ed Wombwell, chairman of the Friends of Yellow Brick Road, said: “The fantastic ornamental gate makes a great statement about the special space you are entering.

“Our work recently has addressed issues such as litter and dog fouling that may have prevented local residents in the past from fully appreciating and taking pride in the Yellow Brick Road.

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“The gateway signals our intent to make a difference and is the start of lots of work still to do.

“We want people to feel comfortable and enjoy using the green space, and we are hoping for some useful feedback from the Green Flag judges that we can use.

John Smithson, ranger for Forest Heath District Council, who has been working with the group said: “The inherent quality of the space is undeniable, and the amazing work being done by this group and all kinds of local volunteers is steadily revealing its potential.

“It stretches from the Emerald Orchard at the back of Studlands Community and Sports Centre to the Exeter Road exit at the town centre. Anyone wanting to come along and join in can get in touch with me.”

Forest Heath District Council is supporting this work and ?£15,000 has been spent on commissioning and landscaping the gateway.

Andy Drummond, Forest Heath cabinet member for leisure and culture said: “The gates are a splendid addition to a valuable part of the town.

“I congratulate these great community members who have seen an issue and become part of the solution. Their confident approach shows that everyone can do something to make a difference, even if it is just changing how we think about using the space.”

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