16/07/21: Work begins on Dereham's new community garden

Work to develop a new community garden in the centre of Dereham is now underway. It is expected to be completed around late summer.  

The garden is being created by voluntary group aboutDereham, in partnership with Breckland Council and Dencora It is being funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's Pocket Park Scheme with match funding provided by Breckland Council's Market Town Initiative scheme.

The new public space will be created on Wright's Walk and named the Ellenor Fenn Park, after one of the town's most famous figures. Ellenor Fenn was an 18th Century pioneer of child-centred education, an advocate of home-schooling and open-air learning. 

Mike Webb, Chairman of the aboutDereham Partnership, commented: "The garden will feature a performance area, a children's wildlife area and grass with seating to support a range of outdoor community events. The garden will easily accommodate marquees and market stalls, which will help to boost footfall in the town centre and business for local retailers. Once open the aboutDereham Partnership will oversee the events planned for the garden and Dencora will be responsible for booking and scheduling."

Cllr Paul Hewett, Portfolio Holder for Property and Projects at Breckland Council, commented: "I am truly delighted to see this green project enter a new stage and look forward to the seeing the Ellenor Fenn Garden blossom over the coming weeks. This green space will be a peaceful  space in the heart of one of our busiest towns, while offering a wonderful location for people to meet up while out shopping locally."

Local community groups and project partners are heavily involved in delivering this project. Dereham Heritage Trust have supported with research on Ellenor Fenn and incorporating her life's work into the design, while the Dereham Men's Shed group will be creating bug and bee hotels. Dereham Crafters are creating wildlife yarnbombing exhibits in and around the garden, Dereham Library will have a range of local history books available, while the Dereham Heritage Trust is planning a display about Ellenor and her husband John, in Wright's Walk close to the garden. The project is also supported by the neighbouring Baptist Church."

The ground work and landscaping, which will involve turning wasteland into a beautiful garden meeting space is being conducted by E G Grounds Care Ltd,  a family-run business based in Breckland. Matthew Jervis, Director for EG Ground Cares Ltd commented: "We're very pleased to be given the opportunity to design and create this garden in the heart of Dereham. We want to create a garden that everybody's proud of."


Last updated: 19/08/2021 13:16:08