Suffolk Wildlife Trust has been working with Rendlesham Parish Council since 2014 when ownership of the main recreation site in the village, Jubilee Park, was transferred from Suffolk Coastal District Council to the Parish Council.
Parish Councillor, Carole Brason, Chairman of the Jubilee Park Committee, said at the time: “This is a momentous occasion for the parish. To own Jubilee Park will mean that the Parish Council can now use this important facility to its full potential.”
It was at this point that Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s community adviser, Angela Jones began to work with the group. With Angela’s help a habitat plan was developed – for a wildlife area, woodland and community orchard and the group then quickly set about the practical tasks. These included tree planting, path clearing and new hedgerow creation.
Angela says a real highlight for her was the enthusiasm of local young people. She said: “When I stared working with the two Rendlesham youth groups I was very keen to make the young people feel that this was their project, that their opinions counted. I did not want to dictate what should happen.”
Young people in the village are now implementing ideas to promote the project through social media and are working on the design of on-site interpretation boards.
One young member of the group is now keen to train as a tree warden and has been involved in carrying out a tree audit in the village.
In the coming months and years the Parish Council plan to make use of several other sites in the village to achieve some of the aspirations coming from the Rendlesham Neighbourhood Plan.
Angela continues to offer advice to the parish council and is excited for the future: “With the on-going support of the Parish Council this is a truly sustainable community project which will benefit people and wildlife for many years to come.”