Communities of Interest help maintain urban oasis.
In June 2012 the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery, approved a £2.8 million grant, as part of the Parks for People scheme which along with a further amount of match funding from Ipswich Borough Council and the Friends of Holywells Park and Volunteer contributions, enabled a project budget of around £3.5 million to be achieved. This funding will cover a wide range of work to help with the restoration of the park landscape and buildings.
Holywells Park is a 67 acre public park close to the centre of Ipswich, near the dock, which opened to the public in 1936. The former mansion was demolished, but the Grade II listed stable block and orangery from the 19th Century, still exist.
In the summer, our volunteers started work on the first of many environmental tasks to be undertaken over a period of about 19 months. A massive back clearing exercise was started, so that two ponds could be dredged.
Following this, holly and sweet chestnut trees were cleared from the car park and Icehouse area. Tree felling and path clearance work took place at the Bishop's Hill entrance area, and vegetation clearing at the Myrtle Road entrance, the Dell Stable Block, Terrace area, Brimstone Alley and formal garden area. General brash clearing at Bluebell Walk took place; along with building a stag beetle habitat.
Other activities include clearance of an area for an outdoor classroom, coir matting work on ponds 1 and 2, stabilising the bank after dredging work, erecting fencing around pond 1, clearing bamboo from Brimstone Alley, planting trees at Nacton Road entrance and digging trenches.
During the five months since starting work in Holywells Park, Green Light Trust has engaged on average 8 people in any one session, totalling over 200 volunteer days on the project, so far.
Our partners at Open Road, Ipswich, Otley College and the Friends of Holywells Park have worked extremely hard to make sure work is ahead of schedule.
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