Group which saved Train Wood, on former city railway station site, reveal scheme to enhance area for tourists and nature lovers

Train Wood

Train Wood - Credit: Archant

A community group which halted council plans to sell off woodland, set on the former Norwich railway station site, has unveiled a vision to enhance the area for tourists and nature lovers.

NORWICH BLITZ; 2ND WORLD WAR; THE RUINED CITY STATION AFTER THE PREVIOUS NIGHT'S BOMBARDMENT; NO DAT

NORWICH BLITZ; 2ND WORLD WAR; THE RUINED CITY STATION AFTER THE PREVIOUS NIGHT'S BOMBARDMENT; NO DATE; PLATE P0724 - Credit: Archant

The Friends of Train Wood and Marriott's Way was set up in 2013 after Norfolk County Council listed the 12-acre Train Wood, which borders the River Wensum from the start of Marriott's Way to Anderson's Meadow, on its 'for sale' portfolio.

But the group battled to keep it in public hands and, in November 2014, saw their work come to fruition when it was confirmed the sale would not go ahead.

After turning to the public for suggestions, the Friends - who work with the council to maintain the land - now hope to make it more accessible, restore bridges and paths and celebrate its heritage.

They are now in the final three of the Bags of Help initiative, run by Tesco and the Groundwork Trust, which has secured them £8,000 - with supermarket shoppers asked to vote for their favourite, which could see the group awarded £10,000 or £12,000.

City station from South signal box in 1952 we see a D16/3 62620 leaving with a train for Cromer Beac

City station from South signal box in 1952 we see a D16/3 62620 leaving with a train for Cromer Beach.Jon R Batley - Credit: Archant

Alan Cubbage, the Friends group chairman, said: 'Train Wood has had minimal direct investment in the woodland in the last at least six years – if not longer.

'This is despite it being the start of the region's most popular off road cycling and walking route – around 13,000 walkers, and 21,000 cyclists were recorded in a month last year.

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'Sited close to Norwich city centre, it is the location of valuable railway history. Trees are growing close to these heritage structures and are damaging them.

'A rare wet woodland, this county wildlife site has not been managed to increase and protect its natural riches, and there is an issue with anti social behaviour at points.'

Volunteers asking walkers their views on Train Wood, Norwich and encouraging them to explore the are

Volunteers asking walkers their views on Train Wood, Norwich and encouraging them to explore the area next to the river wensum, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

With the funds already guaranteed, overgrown trails will be cleared, wildflowers planted, derelict fishing platforms and benches repaired and signs dotted along trails.

But if they secure £10,000, they will also work on the marsh and pond, replacing the footbridge to make it accessible for wheelchair users, while the £12,000 prize fund would see them create picnic areas and install information boards on the nature and history of the area.

They are up against two other local causes for the money.

Shoppers can use tokens to vote in Tesco stores in the Norwich area until March 6.

For more information, visit www.trainwood.co.ukWhat do you think? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

Other causes

• The Friends of Train Wood and Marriott's Way are one of three causes shortlisted in the Norwich and Broadland division of the Bags of Help scheme.

Also competing for the top prize will be the Broads Authority and Kinsale Infant School in Hellesdon.

The former will use the cash for its Go Wild at Whitlingham initiative, while the school will launch an outdoor environment project.

The money has been raised through the newly-introduced 5p charge for plastic bags.

For more information click here.

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