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Volunteers help transform forgotten corner of Norwich park

PUBLISHED: 13:56 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:56 21 July 2018

One of the two new raised herb gardens outside the Eaton Park Café with representatives from all the organisations involved, the café, staff and pupils from Clare School, the RHS, Norwich Norse environmental, Norwich in Bloom and Friends of Eaton Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of the two new raised herb gardens outside the Eaton Park Café with representatives from all the organisations involved, the café, staff and pupils from Clare School, the RHS, Norwich Norse environmental, Norwich in Bloom and Friends of Eaton Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Youngsters from a school in Norwich have teamed up with a voluntary group to transform a previously forgotten area of a popular Norwich park.

Clare School pupil Thomas, with Rob Howe from Eaton Park Café, take a closer look at one of the two new herb gardens outside the café. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYClare School pupil Thomas, with Rob Howe from Eaton Park Café, take a closer look at one of the two new herb gardens outside the café. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Yesterday, pupils from The Clare School and representatives from the Friends of Eaton Park, the Royal Horticultural Society and Eaton Park Cafe gathered to celebrate the creation of two raised herb beds in the cafe’s garden.

Built over two days in June, the two wooden raised beds have been planted with herbs, edible flowers and seedlings grown by pupils at the school.

Helen Mitchell, chairman of the Friends of Eaton Park, explained the project came about as part of the RHS’ Greening Grey Britain campaign. “None of Eaton Park is actually grey but the project is also interested in intergenerational projects. We have got a lot of elderly people in the friends and we have a lot of links with The Clare School so we thought why not do something with them and the area behind the cafe.

“The RHS have been brilliant. They’ve inspired us, sourced the plants, led sessions with the volunteers and students and designed the planting plan. ”

In the recent hot weather, café staff have been watering the plants every morning and in the space of just a few weeks produce from the beds has already appeared on the café menu.

Mrs Mitchell said: “The herbs are looking absolutely lovely. There are only two beds but they have really transformed the area and they are a real magnet for butterflies. It has really brightened up the area.”

A voluntary organisation, Friends of Eaton Park works with people living near Eaton Park, users groups and Norwich City Council to protect and enhance the area. Mrs Mitchell said she hoped the recent project would help others to become involved with the group and future projects.

“The intergenerational side is really important, we want to change people’s perceptions of getting involved with volunteering.”

David Potter, from Eaton Park Café, said; “We’re absolutely thrilled with these beautiful new additions to our garden. Our new baker can’t wait to start experimenting with the fruits of everyone’s effort.”

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