New garden in town centre is a space for community events and activities

Local organisations have stepped up to support the new ‘pocket park’ in the centre of Dereham. The new community space is almost ready for the opening event on 11th September, at 11am. The programme includes activities for children and complimentary refreshments available in the adjoining Baptist Church.

The new garden will be named the Ellenor Fenn Garden, after the 18th century teacher, writer, artist and philanthropist who not only lived in Dereham but also started a Sunday School here. Ellenor also published more than 50 books and designed educational toys to help parents when they are teaching their children.

The garden will be themed around Ellenor’s progressive ideas for educating children, with bird boxes, bug houses and a blackboard in the children’s area.

There is more about Ellenor and her life with her husband John Fenn in an exhibition created by the Dereham Heritage Trust and displayed in the window of the old M&Co shop nearby.

Also on display is a photographic record of work on the site as it was transformed from a piece of waste ground into an attractive community space, created by the Dereham Photographic Club.

“It’s been a real community effort creating the garden. It has brought the town together,” Mike Webb, Chairman of the aboutDereham Partnership said. “We’ve had lots of donations for the garden including the building and painting of wildlife boxes, planters and plants, signage, balloons, people giving their creative skills in design, many hours planning the garden and opening ceremony, yarn-bombing exhibits and much more, it’s been truly amazing.” We believe that our residents will cherish and look after the new space.”

Breckland’s Portfolio Holder for Property and Projects, Paul Hewett commenting on how proud he is of the garden said “The transformation into a pleasant and tranquil place to visit and hold outdoor community events is great for the town and I hope our residents and visitors make best use of it. As you can now see, the garden will easily accommodate marquees and market stalls which will help boost footfall in the town centre and business for local retailers.”

If you or your community group would like to hold an event in the garden, please contact Dencora on 07394 564499