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Time for volunteers to help improve city park?

PUBLISHED: 05:32 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:30 28 August 2020

Lord Mayor of Norwich and Mile Cross ward councillor for Norwich City Council Vaughan Thomas in Wensum Park. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Lord Mayor of Norwich and Mile Cross ward councillor for Norwich City Council Vaughan Thomas in Wensum Park. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Sophie Wyllie

Concerns have been raised about the state of a Norwich park, with conversations beginning over the potential of setting up a voluntary friends group.

A view of Wensum Park, off Drayton Road in Norwich, from the top of the shelter. Picture: Sophie WyllieA view of Wensum Park, off Drayton Road in Norwich, from the top of the shelter. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Local resident Robert Maguire, from Drayton Road, has called for a group to be created to make the most of Wensum Park, off Drayton Road, following the success of other friends groups for Waterloo Park and Eaton Park.

The idea has been backed by councillors from Norwich’s Mile Cross ward, including Lord Mayor Vaughan Thomas.

A pond area in Wensum Park, off Drayton Road in Norwich. Picture: Sophie WyllieA pond area in Wensum Park, off Drayton Road in Norwich. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Mr Maguire has criticised the lack of maintenance of the green space by Norwich City Council, which manages parks around the city.

The council said it was always happen to listen to users of Norwich’s parks.

Leftover branches from a cut down tree in Wensum Park, off Drayton Road, Norwich. Picture: Sophie WyllieLeftover branches from a cut down tree in Wensum Park, off Drayton Road, Norwich. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Mr Maguire, who is a self-employed electronics researcher, claims branches from trees and bushes cut down by contractors are not always cleared away, posing a danger to park users.

He says the water in the pond and area of water off the River Wensum is not maintained, causing it to become stagnant.

The 20th century park could be used for more community events, he added.

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Mr Maguire said: “There is so much potential. The park is not looked after properly. It needs a major tidy up. The council could set up a voluntary group to help the park out.”

As well as the friends group, Mr Maguire wants to see a nature trail, art trail and benches introduced.

Mr Thomas said: “The more people from the community who get involved, the better. We are always looking for improvements.”

He added the park was a beautiful space for the Mile Cross community.

Another Mile Cross city councillor, Vivien Thomas, said a voluntary group set up for Wensum Park would maximise it for the future.

“If residents have ideas we are happy to listen. We are fortunate in Norwich with lovely parks,” Mrs Thomas said.

Mile Cross city councillor Jacob Huntley said a Wensum Park friends group would bring a sense of vitality to the area.

Matthew Packer, cabinet member for health and wellbeing on Norwich City Council, said voluntary friends groups for parks were something the council encouraged.

A city council spokesperson said: “We’re always happy to listen to residents and users of our parks and strongly encourage Mr Maguire to get in touch with us through the proper process.”

Friends groups are made up of people from the local community who work in partnership with councils by organising events and maintaining public spaces.


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