Trustees recruit 100-plus volunteers to help with park

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More than 100 volunteers have now signed up to help maintain Clare Castle Country Park after a successful awareness-raising event was held.

The park will soon transfer in ownership from Suffolk County Council to Clare Town Council after a financial package was agreed between the two authorities.

It will be run on behalf of the town council by a trust made up of volunteers, who organised the get together at Clare Town Hall on Saturday as a way of letting people know what would be involved in volunteering and to meet the trustees. About 100 people attended.

The town council has been awarded a £10,000 start-up grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable it to plan for the park’s future by investigating its preservation and promotion.

One of the trustees, Peter Phillips, said: “The trustees were pleased with the turnout and now have 106 signed-up volunteers to carry out routine maintenance and clearing tasks, in addition to the routine work carried out by the parks department of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, in order to improve the general maintenance of the park.

“At the meeting, the areas of the park in need of attention were displayed and volunteers were able to opt for specific work dates.

“The main message to volunteers was that volunteering is flexible and will tie-in with the time that individuals are free to give.”

Also at the event to give advice to potential volunteers was Neil Catchpole, from the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley Project.

Mr Phillips added: “Clare is looking forward to making the park a centrepiece for our historic and thriving town.

“Supporters from Clare or beyond can still sign up to be volunteers by contacting Geoffrey Bray, chairman elect of the trustees, on 01787 277731.”