Volunteers call for support to win maximum funding to maintain country park

The Long Melford Open Spaces group, pictured planting trees in Melford Country Park, are bidding for

The Long Melford Open Spaces group, pictured planting trees in Melford Country Park, are bidding for a cash funding boost Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

A group of volunteers who maintain a picturesque Suffolk country park are asking the public to help them secure the maximum amount of funding for new equipment.

Long Melford Open Spaces (LMOS) maintain Melford Country Park and are one of three groups who will receive funding from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The group needs new equipment such as a heavy duty log saw, a chainsaw, a portable water pump, a generator, piping and life jackets and safety clothing to keep the park safe and sustainable.

Melford Country Park is an 8.13 hectare site of grassland, deciduous woodland and flooded former gravel workings used for informal recreation, such as walking, fishing and observing wildlife.

Tesco’s community funding scheme, in partnership with Groundwork, sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 awarded to local projects from carrier bag sales.

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Voting is open in the Sudbury Tesco store during January and February and customers can cast their vote for one of three shortlisted groups using a token given to them at the check-out when they shop.

Parish and district councillor John Nunn, who is also a director of Long Melford Open Spaces (LMOS), said: “Some years ago the parish council stepped in to save this facility from closure by Suffolk County Council.

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“Long Melford Open Spaces was formed to voluntarily manage the park on behalf of the parish council and I am pleased to say I was one of those who helped to establish the park and the open spaces group at the beginning.

“To manage a park of this size requires a lot of dedication and hard work by a small band of volunteers who we are fortunate to have, but it also requires a constant supply of tools and materials to keep the park in good condition, therefore we are really pleased to have been accepted into the Tesco Bags of Help scheme for January and February and hope the public will support us with their tokens so that we may continue to maintain the country park and railway walk to a high standard.”

Alec Brown, head of community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. “It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community.

“There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

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