Businesswoman calling for residents to support new community group for popular park
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A businesswoman has put out a rallying call to bring the community together in order to revamp a popular park and protect it for future generations.
Mother-of-three Ingrid Henry, 48, from Bluebell Road in Norwich, who runs Earlham Park Café, is urging residents to form a group to bring ideas to life which would benefit the outdoor space.
She hopes the Earlham Park Community Group will continue to raise money for the green area, which sits on the outskirts of Norwich next to the University of East Anglia (UEA).
To kick things off she is holding a charity quiz in the café, supported by the Tesco Express store on Earlham Road, on Friday, May 18, at 7pm.
She hopes to raise £1,600 for a defibrillator to be fitted outside the café as the nearest one is at UEA's Sportspark.
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Mrs Henry, who spent her childhood visiting the park and has three children aged under 10, said: 'The café has had so much community support in the past. I was hoping to channel that support into the park on a more permanent basis.
'We are very lucky to have lots of green open spaces in Norwich and Earlham Park is one of the largest.
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'I want to talk to people about what they think the park needs.
'If a community group can get together for the park, it is only going to be a benefit.'
Her future ambitions include revamping the park's public toilets, introducing a wooden children's play area and buying a specialist wheelchair to allow disabled people to access all areas of the big park.
She is also keen to start small community family-friendly fairs and events.
Mrs Henry said previous big events on the park were good for the area but smaller events 'created a sense of community'.
She added a variety of people enjoyed using the park, owned and maintained by Norwich City Council, including the elderly, people with disabilities and families.
Quiz tickets cost £8 and for details on this event as well as joining the group call 07721391909 or message the Earlham Park Café Facebook page.
Earlham Park history
Earlham Park was first mentioned by official records in 1733.
It was extended to its current size by 1800.
The majority of the park includes 19th century trees, woodland walks and gardens.
Standing on the park is Earlham Hall which was owned by the Bacon family between 1682 and 1786.
The family was responsible for the formation of the park.
A park was mentioned in the accounts for 1733 but it is not known how far this extended.
There are a number of pits and irregular depressions within the park which are probably the result of gravel extraction.
Park visitors can walk through woodland, past a small river and the University of East Anglia Broad.
In recent years Earlham Park has hosted major events including Radio 1's Big Weekend in 2015 and Let's Rock retro music festival in 2017.
In July, girl band Little Mix will perform in the park.