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Norwich’s guerrilla gardeners are back

PUBLISHED: 08:57 20 September 2020

The Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows (from left to right) Ann Reed, Nicolette King, Liz Rowles, Cate Oliver, Siobahn Dorsett and Steve Langston. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

The Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows (from left to right) Ann Reed, Nicolette King, Liz Rowles, Cate Oliver, Siobahn Dorsett and Steve Langston. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

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A pair of community gardening groups are celebrating being back after lockdown restrictions prevented volunteers from meeting.

The Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows Cate Oliver. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYThe Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows Cate Oliver. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

The NR2 Gardening Group, part of the NR2 Community Skills Share scheme, has reconvened its monthly and ad hoc sessions at the Jenny Lind Park, Vauxhall Street and Rupert Street in Norwich.

Supported by the LTC Green Spaces community group, which maintains green spaces in the city’s Lakenham and Town Close area, the NR2 charity maintains flower beds, tidies up woodland areas and encourages people to socialise outdoors and get active.

The Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows Nicolette King. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYThe Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows Nicolette King. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

Despite individual volunteers using the government’s exercise rule to do gardening work the NR2 Gardening Group and LTC Green Spaces group could not officially meet during lockdown but have now started up, following strict Covid-19 safety measures.

Liz Rowles, NR2 Gardening Group co-ordinator, who led the group’s flower bed maintenance session at Jenny Lind Park on September 19, said: “People are enjoying being outside a bit more than usual.”

The Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows Nicolette King and Ann Reed. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYThe Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows Nicolette King and Ann Reed. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

She added the majority of people involved in the group were retirees who wanted to make their local area look nice.

Ms Rowles added: “Norwich could always do with a bit more green space as a lot of housing estates do not factor in green space.”

The Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows Liz Rowles. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYThe Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces community gardening group are doing a clean-up session on the Jenny Lind Park in Norwich. Picture shows Liz Rowles. Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

Ms Rowles said people in the local area appreciated the work of the groups.

MORE: Nature lovers to protect rare Lakenham lizard colony

Pam Frost, project and funding co-ordinator for LTC Green Spaces, said lockdown affected a lot of people’s confidence.

She said: “People became isolated. Lockdown had quite a toll on people’s mental health.

“People have become more aware of their immediate surroundings. A lot of benefits have come out of lockdown. We are confident the groups can work.”

Miss Frost added a wider variety of people had inquired about getting involved in the sessions since lockdown.

She said the pandemic had made society aware of food and the group had set up a community vegetable garden.

Volunteer Siobhan Dorsett, 72, from Costessey, said it was lovely for the group to be back and gardening helped her mental health.

Email jenny.lind.gardeners@gmail.com or ltcgreenspaces@hotmail.co.uk to get involved.


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