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New volunteer friends group promises to enhance and protect popular park

PUBLISHED: 15:38 26 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:38 26 May 2018

Maggie Wheeler and Wendy Alcock conducting a survey for the Friends of Waterloo Park. Picture: Steve Morphew

Maggie Wheeler and Wendy Alcock conducting a survey for the Friends of Waterloo Park. Picture: Steve Morphew

Archant

Volunteers are hoping to bring more sporting opportunities, children’s activities and live music to a popular city park.

Steve Morphew, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Steve Morphew, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new Friends of Waterloo Park group will bring together residents who will work with Norwich City Council, which owns and maintains the park off Angel Road in Norwich, as well as other organisations including Britania Enterprise group.

Some of the entrants to the Friends of Waterloo Park photo competition in Norwich. Picture: Sent in by STEVE MORPHEW Some of the entrants to the Friends of Waterloo Park photo competition in Norwich. Picture: Sent in by STEVE MORPHEW

Steve Morphew, Norfolk County Council member for Catton Grove in Norwich, said: “Parks are important for recreation and makes places look nice. These green spaces are the lungs of the city. They give us flora and fauna.

“When you are in the park it feels like you are a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

He added: “The local community sees Waterloo Park as a really important resource.”

The councillor, who was acting chair of the friends group up until recently, said the volunteer organisation was to ensure the park was protected.

Its new chair is resident Shirley Jordan, supported by resident Debbie Cook who is treasurer.

A committee of nine will meet but the majority of work will be led by volunteers across three groups covering biodiversity, events and activities and infrastructure.

Mr Morphew added the idea of the friends group, soon to be a charity, was to be “hands-on” and raise funds.

“Whether people can either do a little or a lot, they can have the opportunity to muck in and make a difference.

“We are trying to give people a greater say in what goes on in the parks and to help those responsible doing that work.

“It is about preservation and enhancement,” Mr Morphew said.

Some 300 people who live around Waterloo Park completed a community consultation about what they thought about the park and how they used it.

Mr Morphew added many people used it for a variety of reasons from walking dogs, admiring nature and entertaining children.

The group wants to increase the amount of sporting opportunities on offer as well as children’s activities and live music.

During its first meeting it celebrated photo competition winners.

To get involved search Friends of Waterloo Park on Facebook or email WaterlooParkFriends@gmail.com

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