Expert brought in to rejuvenate Sudbury’s Belle Vue Park
A community scheme should see life brought back to the formerly award-winning flower beds at Belle Vue Park in Sudbury.
Dan Wheals, from ActivLives, will be in the town on Mondays and Thursdays, working in the park and at the Bridge Project to help bring the community together and offer leisure opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds as part of the charity’s ‘Grow Your Community Sudbury’ campaign.
The charity has been brought in by landowner Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for keeping the county active.
Dan is hoping to work with existing volunteer groups, such as Sudbury in Bloom and The Sudbury Society, as well as volunteers.
Work has already started to clean up the area, with helpers wasting no time in planting seeds in the flower beds.
“We will be looking for people with lots of experience that can mentor those that know nothing and want to learn,” said Mr Wheals.
“We are trying to make it lovely again. We are inviting people to adopt little areas or just spend some time weeding or tending to the flowers.”
The district council announced in 2014 that it would be withdrawing the £3,000-a-year it spent on summer bedding plants, with perennials planted instead.
Park users and the committee members of Sudbury in Bloom have criticised the state of the park, particularly the flower beds.
“Perennials come back each year and need some tending,” said Mr Wheals. “In any gaps, we will add vegetables.
“There are so many flowers in Belle Vue that we could dig up and reuse these in other areas.”
Mr Wheals is hoping businesses can get staff to give up some time, as well as inviting community groups, organisations and individuals to go along and volunteer.
As part of the improvement plans, Mr Wheals is hoping people will come and share their ideas for what should be done.
Other plans include opening up and improving the dark and under-used grotto-style area.
Peter Garrett, corporate manager for countryside and public realm at Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils, said: “Our partnership with ActivLives is seeking to teach people new gardening skills and get them involved in other aspects of how their parks, open spaces and the local environment is cared for.
“Belle Vue Park needs a new management plan and our first step to achieve this is to seek the views of everyone who uses the park on how it should be managed in the future.
“We want to hear from everyone who loves Belle Vue Park on how it can be improved: if you want to get involved, come down to Belle Vue and join ActivLives every Thursday.”
Mr Wheals will be at the park on Thursdays from 10am to 12.30pm.
He will host an Easter family day on April 13. Families are invited to bring their own picnic and hard-boiled eggs and enjoy an egg hunt, egg rolling, games and planting activities, with a chance find out more about the project.
For more information, call Mr Wheals on 07551 343135 or visit activlives.org.uk.