Bob Flowerdew to speak at first Diss Park friends meeting

A rallying call has been issued to Diss Park users to come forward to help deliver improvements and secure Green Flag status.

Residents are being urged to become a 'friend' of the park and other green spaces as part of a project to boost tourism and the town's economy.

Television and radio gardening expert Bob Flowerdew, who has agreed to be patron of the Friends of Diss Park, will speak at the group's inaugural meeting on June 14.

And people who feel passionate about Diss Park and the town's other green spaces are being urged to attend to lend their support.

The friends group will aim to secure funding to improve the facilities and sustainability of the park next to Diss Mere and apply for Green Flag status, which is awarded to outstanding parks.

They would also help preserve and enhance other green spaces in Willbye Avenue and Rectory Meadow and liaise with the Fair Green Neighbourhood Association.

It comes after Diss Town Council received a �10,000 Awards for All lottery grant last year to appoint a project manager for the second phase of the Diss Park regeneration.

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Sue Reeves, project co-ordinator, said a management plan for the park had been drawn up to include more play facilities for teenagers, improve the historical information around the iconic mere, and improve its ecological credentials. She added that she had already approached 20 local organisations in the town and had received an enthusiastic response.

'Half of the people that use Diss Park are not from Diss. It does attract people and we want to attract even more and it is really good for shops and cafes,' she said.

A survey of 200 users found that people from as far afield as Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Essex and London visit Diss Park.

Mr Flowerdew, who is a member of Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time, and lives in nearby Dickleburgh, will talk about the importance of parks and green spaces in towns from 7pm on June 14 at the Diss Corn Hall.

Phase II of the Diss Park regeneration, which will look to benefit older children and adults, comes after a �100,000 toddler and children's play area was installed in 2009.

To register interest in attending the meeting, call 07793 045531 or email sue.reeves@diss.gov.uk

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