A former Lynn troublespot will begin its transformation into a thriving wildlife haven this weekend after a grand job by conservation volunteers.
The first of three family tree planting days is being held at the newly-cleared Kettlewell Lane park on Sunday following months of hard work to get the former wasteland ready for a new beginning.
In recent years the area had become overgrown with brambles, littered with rubbish and blighted by antisocial behaviour, but West Norfolk Council used compulsory purchase powers to buy the site in December 2012 and worked with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to develop a conservation plan.
Volunteers started work on the Kettlewell Living Landscape Project in October and began clearing the site, and on Monday the trust held its third conservation day to get the area prepared for planting.
Mark Webster, the trust’s living landscape community officer, said: “I’m really pleased by the amazing amount of hard work that local people have put in to transform this wasteland into what will become a wildlife haven. Monday was our third visit since the project began and it’s fantastic what has been achieved in that time.”
As well as clearing brambles and encroaching vegetation, the team left areas of habitat for the area’s existing wildlife species including otters, birds, hedgehogs and reptiles.
But the planting of new fruit and nut trees on Sunday is hoped to bring new wildlife to the park such as bees, butterflies and wildflowers.
“It’s going to be wonderful to see how the area develops as we come into the spring and summer,” said Mr Webster. “And not only will it benefit the wildlife but local people too.”
The tree planting event, organised by the council in partnership with the trust, is being held from 10.30am to 1pm.
Families are being encouraged to go along and learn about tree planting and sowing wildflower seeds, as well as discovering the ancient craft of ‘pollarding’ willow trees.
Councillor David Pope, the council’s cabinet member for ICT, leisure and public space, said: “Thanks to the brilliant efforts of so many local people, the hard work of clearing the site of brambles is done.
“Now it’s time to get involved in the fun part by helping to plant trees and sow seeds which will bring a welcome splash of colour this summer.
“It’s a great way for families to get involved in brightening up this area and to contribute to the town’s ‘in bloom’ efforts.” A free buffet-style lunch will be provided at the end of the session for families registering in advance to help out.
Participants are asked to meet at the newly cleared area at the end of Kettlewell Lane, off the A148 Gaywood Road, opposite the Hob in the Well pub.
Tools and equipment will be provided and no experience is necessary. Parking is available nearby. To register email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01553 782079.
The next tree planting sessions are being held on Sunday, February 15, and Sunday, March 22.