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Youngsters dig in to improve environment

PUBLISHED: 15:25 23 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:21 02 July 2010

Sea Scouts, Cubs and Beavers joining the Norwich Fringe Project, Thorpe Town Council staff and other dignitaries to plant trees and hedges and improve the area in Dussindale.

Sea Scouts, Cubs and Beavers joining the Norwich Fringe Project, Thorpe Town Council staff and other dignitaries to plant trees and hedges and improve the area in Dussindale.

Sam Emanuel

A group of more than 30 green-fingered youngsters have transformed a neglected area of Dussindale in a bid to enhance the environment and reduce anti-social behaviour.

A group of more than 30 green-fingered youngsters have transformed a neglected area of Dussindale in a bid to enhance the environment and reduce anti-social behaviour.

The 1st Thorpe St Andrew Scout group joined representatives from the Norwich Fringe Project, the Sainsbury's store on Pound Lane and Broadland District Council on Wednesday to plant 100m of trees along a fence near the Mary Chapman Court residential home.

Nine beavers, 14 cubs, seven scouts, three explorers and 13 leaders took part in the planting, which echoed a planting session in 2007 to celebrate the centenary of the scouting movement and involved several of the same children.

Scout group leader Des Harris said: "Some of the scouts were helping out the little ones as they knew what to do - there was a really good sense of teamwork.

"We planted just over 100m of various types of deciduous trees to make the area nice for the residents down there. There is a bit of a tatty fence which will be covered up by the trees when they grow.

“The environment will also benefit because it will attract new wildlife, and we are hoping it will help reduce antisocial behaviour, because some young people are going through holes in the fence and messing about and drinking there in the evenings.”

The idea for the hedge arose because of complaints about low level anti-social behaviour in the woodland near Mary Chapman Close.

Peter Leggett, street scene officer at Broadland District Council, had the idea of planting a prickly hedge alongside the fence which would improve the look of the area, attract butterflies and bees and deter people from breaking through and causing a nuisance to residents.

The council bought the plants through its Parish Tree Warden scheme and equipment was supplied by the Norwich Fringe project.

Mr Leggett said: “We wouldn't have been able to do any of this without the scouts. They were quite taken with the idea that in the years to come they would walk down here and see the growing hedge that they had planted.”

Councillor John Fisher, portfolio holder for environmental services at Broadland District Council, added: “These youngsters, along with the many other volunteers who turned up, have put themselves out to make their community better and they deserve our thanks. They're a great example to all of us.”

Have you done something to improve your area? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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