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Sculptor Liz sets visitors on the trail of the Bury wolves

The first of the Bury wolves have been installed in Abbey Gardens, and the Angel Hill , above. From left, Melanie Lesser (organiser)and Liz Cooke (sculptor).

A pack of 26 wolves are cropping up around Bury St Edmunds, with the first few sculptures of a temporary art trail now installed.
  The Bury Wolf Trail project is set to officially open later this month, but two creations from Ipswich-born artist Liz Cooke are already in place on Angel Hill and the Abbey Gardens.
  The project has been spearheaded by the Bury Business Improvement District OurBuryStEdmunds, with each individual wolf sponsored by a local business.
  Their chief executive, Mark Cordell, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our wolves are now popping up around the town as I think seeing them will really generate some interest in the wolf trail and will lead to more people visiting our lovely town.”
  The first two wolves are made from a mixture of steel and willow, with Liz, of Lark Valley Willow, putting hundreds of hours into creating them.
  The sculptor of 16 years said: “I went to Colchester Zoo to watch the wolves. Inevitably they never sat where you wanted them to. I did some drawings
and went from there.
  “I like to take my time. The wolves are made from a steel frame with the willow then added afterwards.
  “The one in the gardens is entirely clad in willow, while on Angel Hill the steel is used to represent the muscles.”
  The idea is the project will take visitors on a tour of historic Bury while showcasing local artists’ work.
  The idea was the brainchild of Bury in Bloom co-ordinator Melanie Lesser, along with Mr Cordell.
  She said: “It is fantastic to see the wolves in place, they look even better than the photos.
  “The artists have really taken to the idea and developed it themselves.
  ”Once the trail opens, visitors will be able to take part in a Wolf Trail challenge, with checklists of all the wolves available in the town.
  People are also encour-aged to take selfies with the wolves and to post on Twitter using the hashtag #BuryWolfTrail.
  It will officially open on July 20 and runs until November 20, with a few of wolves yet to be claimed by sponsors.

Discover more information about the 18 artists and the trail visit www.ourburystedmunds.co.uk/wolftrail

East Anglian Daily Times - Friday, July 3, 2015

Children plant their handmade flowers

The recycled flowers made by children as part of a Bury in Bloom/Crafty Foxes project are put in place in the Abbey Gardens in Bury. L-R: Florence Cano (6), Clementine Cano (4) and Kaitlyn Caulder-Ebbens with the flowers.

Youngsters have planted their handmade blooms in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds as part of a community art project.

The flowers have been created from recycled materials in workshops run by The Crafty Foxes as part of the Flowerheads project inspired by the work of Michael Brennand-Wood.

Those involved included pupils from Guildhall Feoffment Community Primary School and students from West Suffolk College. Carpentry students from the college also made the planters that contain the blooms.

East Anglian Daily Times - Monday, June 22, 2015

Community flower projects taking root

The Flowerheads installation is unveiled in the Abbey Gardens with its organisers

by john henderson
Twitter: @bfpjohn

Two Bury in Bloom projects have taken root, involving people across the age from pre-school to pensioners.
  The Flowerheads art installation in Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey Gardens is a collaboration between Bury in Bloom, Smith’s Row Gallery, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, West Suffolk College and Proscape.
  Bury in Bloom coordinator Melanie Lesser met artist Michael Brennan-Wood at his When Worlds Collide exhibition in Smith Row last year and the idea of an outdoor installation was born.
  He created wooden flowers for it, which people coloured in at
workshops in the gallery. He then put them onto bachgrounds to create the displays.
  Planters were made by the college’s carpentry department and Nigel Kanes, who made Parkway’s St Edmund statue, made the stalks.
  Michelle Freeman of Crafty Foxes ran 12 workshops where children made flowers from plastic bottles, to be added to the installation between 10am and 1pm on Saturday.
  At the other end of the age range, five care homes in Bury have taken part in a pilot Senior Green Fingers competition which they hope will involve more homes next year.
  Melanie said it was a good example of the community working together, with home residents, volunteers and staff joining forces.

Bury Free Press - Friday, June 19, 2015

Flowerheads launched in gardens

Flowerheads’ is an ambitious public artwork of hand-made and real blooms designed and created by internationally acclaimed textile artist Michael Brennand-Wood.

An ambitious piece of public artwork which has been designed by an acclaimed textile artist and created in collaboration with the community has been launched in Bury St Edmunds.
  Flowerheads, is near the Abbey Gate inside the Abbey Gardens, and has been created by Michael Brennand-Wood with the help of local people and a number of organisations.
  The artwork features real flowers in planters made by carpentry students at West Suffolk College as well as 6ft tall blooms, with painted wooden flowerheads and metal stems.
  The flowerheads were made in workshops at Smiths Row art gallery in Bury, while the metal stems are by Nigel Kaines, of Designs on Metal, based at Stowlangtoft.
  It follows on from Mr Brennand-Wood’s When Worlds Collide summer exhibition last year, held at Smiths Row, which included embroidered flowers.
  As well as this artwork, which is to the right of the Abbey Gate as people enter the gardens, there is a display of hand-made blooms made from
recycled plastic bottles and created in workshops with children and families which have been run by the Crafty Foxes, who operate craft workshops in and around Bury.
  Youngsters will be able to place their flowers, which have been inspired by Brennand-Wood’s work, in planters made by the college students at an event on Saturday in area to the left of the Abbey Gate, behind the public toilets.
  Flowerheads has been developed and delivered in partnership with Bury in Bloom, the Bury St Edmunds Festival, the Abbey Gardens Friends, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the Crafty Foxes and the college. There has also been support from Bury St Edmunds Town Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and councillors Jo Rayner and Andrew Speed.
  Melanie Lesser, co-ordinator of Bury in Bloom, said: “I’m delighted to be part of this amazing project. It’s such a community project with so many people involved.” The artwork will be on display in the gardens until September 19.

Mercury - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Artwork completes nursing home’s sensory garden

The unveiling of the complete sensory garden at St Peter's Nursing Home, featuring artistic creations. Inset right, Liz Cooke (left) and Jacqui Campbell, both of RoJo Art, who helped to create the garden.

Artists and care home residents have added the finishing touches to a new sensory garden at a Bury St Edmunds home by creating a range of artworks.

Yesterday, residents of St Peter’s Nursing Home, in Out Risbygate, members of Bury in Bloom and artists from Rojo Art installed the collaborative creations in the newly planted garden.

Rojo Art have been working with residents of St Peter’s since March to transform an outdoor area into a sensory art garden. Jacquie Campbell, from Rojo Art, said: “We managed to secure funding from (Suffolk County) councillor David Nettleton’s locality budget and Grants for the Arts to work alongside the staff in St Peter’s and let the residents try out different art materials and processes.

“We found that they particularly enjoyed the colours and textures of glass mosaic tiles.”

Bury in Bloom was the partner organisation for the project and has carefully replanted the area to complement the artwork.

Melanie Lesser, In Bloom coordinator, said: “We were delighted to partner Rojo Art in this lovely community project, the residents have really enjoyed the project and together we have created a lovely area for both residents and their families to enjoy.

East Anglian Daily Times - Thursday, June 4, 2015

Team set to and create a town to be proud of

TEAMWORK: Some of the cleanup team who went the extra mile for Bury

by Lesley Anslow

The town is looking ship shape and first rate thanks to the work of Bury in Bloom which had its paint brushes and mops and buckets to the fore on Tuesday.
  The tidy up team, including borough Mayor Cllr Patrick Chung, were making sure that our beautiful market town was in excellent form.
  This is despite the recent spate of graffiti tagging which has been blighting its surroundings.
  The Bury Free Press campaign Let’s Be Proud of Bury heralded many community efforts to improve the environment and, along with the ethos of Bury in Bloom, aimed to make Bury proud.
  On Tuesday benches were painted, bins cleaned and polished so that the awardwinning floral town can look its
best this summer ahead of the Anglia in Bloom judging on July 13 and 14.
  One of the biggest problems the team encountered was chewing gum randomly stuck on bins and benches in the town despite there being dedicated gum bins around town.
  Cllrs Robert Everett and Richard Rout painted bollards and the bench outside the Corn Exchange while Jane Watson, Melanie Lesser and Lynda Seldis from Bury in Bloom tackled bins and other street furniture. Meanwhile a gum buster machine was used to clean up pavements.
  Mrs Lesser said: “Lots of people came up and said thank you. But people are also very upset about the graffiti which is being painted in various places. Most people are very proud of the town.”
  Bury in Bloom wants a local company to get in touch if it can help with the removal of the graffiti.

ELBOW GEASE: Hard at work giving a litter bin a clean up and BENCHMARK: Painting the bench

Bury Free Press - Friday, May 29, 2015

Creative youngsters have chance to create recycled ‘flowers’

Sarah Friswell andMichelle Freeman with some flowers made from recycled products

Creative youngsters have the chance to create ‘flowers’ from recycled plastic bottles next week in an intiative between Bury in Bloom, The Crafty Foxes and Smiths Row. Workshops will be held at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Tuesday, May 26 at 10am and 11.30am. The flowers will then be ‘planted’ in a flower bed in the Abbey Gardens designed by Michael Brennand-Wood. To book, email: thecraftyfoxes@hotmail.co.uk

Bury Free Press - Friday, May 22, 2015

Recycled blooms to form public artwork

Sarah Friswell (left) and Michelle Freeman promote the upcoming Crafty Foxes craft workshops at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury.

Budding young craftsmen and women can learn how to turn rubbish into artistic blooms at a flower making workshop.

The free sessions, which are being run by The Crafy Foxes in conjunction with Smiths Row, Bury in Bloom and renowned artist Michael Brennand-Wood, will take place during half term week at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The ‘Flowerheads’ workshops will teach children how to use recycled plastic bottles to form flowers that will then be ‘planted’ in the Abbey Gardens as part of a community art project led by Brennand-Wood.

There will be two sessions on Tuesday, May 26, from 10-11am and from 11.30am to 12.30pm. Anyone interested in taking part can email: thecraftyfoxes@hotmail.co.uk

East Anglian Daily Times - Friday, May 22, 2015

Volunteers give ‘river of flowers’ at junction a spring tidy-up

The River of Flowers on the Tollgate Triangle in Bury was given a tidy-up.

Green-fingered volunteers have been at work at the Tollgate triangle junction in Bury St Edmunds to ensure the ‘river of flowers’ is as vibrant as ever this year.

The floral display featuring the blue Geranium Rozanne was designed by Adrian Bloom, of Bressingham Gardens in Norfolk, and planted by a team of Bury in Bloom volunteers in April last year.

Bury in Bloom co-ordinator Melanie Lesser said the scheme should be even more eye-catching this year as the plants will have matured.

She said: “The planting has enhanced the area and we have received many compliments from Bury St Edmunds residents.” Mr Bloom, who was out with volunteers yesterday, said: “It is vital to give the plants a prune at this time of the year to ensure a good display in the summer months.”

East Anglian Daily Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sponsorship will support green projects

Representatives from Bury in Bloom, Busy Green Fingers and staff, parents and children from Westgate Primary Nursery, Bury St Edmunds.

An ingredients firm based in Bury St Edmunds has been announced as a sponsor of two Bury in Bloom award schemes.

Treatt, based in Northern Way, is supporting Busy Green Fingers for pre-schools and nurseries and Senior Green Fingers which will involve nursing homes and day centres.

Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, said: “Their sponsorship will enable us to offer certificates and gardening vouchers for all involved in the projects as well as funding the award presentation parties in July.”

East Anglian Daily Times - Friday, March 27, 2015

Maple tree in honour of ‘Mr Bury St Edmunds’

A tree is planted in the Abbey Gardens in Bury in memory of Mike Ames, inset, Pictured is Mr Ames’ wife Monica, and mayor Robert Everitt.

Mariam Ghaemi
West Suffolk reporter

The family and friends of a community stalwart known as “Mr Bury St Edmunds” can now remember the times they shared with him at a new tree in his memory.
  Mike Ames left such a legacy in Bury there was a civic procession through the town to his funeral following his death on May 27 last year, aged 77. He was well known through his work as a teacher and he had also been a councillor, mayor, former Bury in Bloom chairman and president of Anglia in Bloom.
  Yesterday, friends, family and civic dignitaries gathered at the cloisters in the Abbey Gardens – a favourite place of Mr Ames’ – to mark the planting of a Japanese maple tree with commemorative stone.
  Mr Ames’ daughter Anthea Ames Ledwidge said: “As a family we said how wonderful it would be to have somewhere we could go and say
‘hello’, but dad was cremated so we didn’t want anything in a graveyard or anything like that. We are so pleased and proud [to have the tree and stone].” She added: “He loved the Abbey Gardens. He’s here. This is his resting place now. He’s overlooking his gardens, he’s overlooking the cathedral and mum’s just across the road.”
  Mr Ames’ wife Monica said: “This was his favourite spot. We used to spend a lot of time over here with the children and the grandchildren.”
  The tree and stone was made possible thanks to the Royal Horticultural Society, Bury in Bloom, Anglia in Bloom and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
  Bury in Bloom co-ordinator Melanie Lesser said: “It’s great to follow in Mike’s footsteps. He’s left a fantastic legacy in the town.”
  Councillor Paul Hopfensperger said: “I’m delighted we have done something to honour him in Bury St Edmunds. He was Mr Bury St Edmunds.”

East Anglian Daily Times - Saturday, March 21, 2015

Flower-inspired art project at care home

Rojo Art is working at St Peter’s Nursing Home in Bury St Edmunds to create a new garden area. L-R: Jacquie Campbell, Liz Cooke, Selwyn Roberts (family of a resident at the home), Melanie Lesser and a resident of the home.

An In Bloom-inspired art project is being carried out at a Bury St Edmunds nursing home, with residents creating a garden at St Peter’s House.

Community arts organisation Rojo Art is working at the care home, in Out Risbygate, in a project funded by the Arts Council and supported by Bury in Bloom.

The residents are creating art work inspired by flowers with artist Jacquie Campbell.

To find out more details about the project visit www.rojoart.co.uk

East Anglian Daily Times - Saturday 14, 2015

Promoting a budding career outdoors

GOOD JOB: Melanie Lesser from Bury in Bloom and park ranger Will Hardy at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds.

by Adam Howlett
Twitter: @bfpadam

Bury in Bloom is looking to promote more young people to consider a career in countryside management.
  The charity’s coordinator, Melanie Lesser, inspired by a scheme from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), wants to actively encourage more youngsters to get involved with Bury in Bloom, as well as considering horticulture as a career path.
  The RHS has recently filmed a video project to inspire those with a love of the outdoors to get into groundskeeping and gardening.
  Will Hardy, 24, from Bury St Edmunds, has worked as a park ranger at Nowton Park for the past 12 months.
  He said it is a great career for young people to get into as you never know what each day will bring.
  He said: “The average day of a ranger is incredibly varied, you have no idea what you will be getting up to.
  “Mainly it’s governed by the seasons.
  “At the moment it’s winter so we are doing a lot of planting, we are taking deliveries of trees and that kind of thing.
  “As the months progress we will be getting into mowing and cutting - we have our coppicing season, a lot of coppicing with hazel.
  “It’s just very varied - the phone can ring and you will have to deal with another job elsewhere.
  “I think one reason I love it so much is
you can wake up in the morning and you have no idea - you can come up with a plan, you can come up with an agenda but it always goes by the wayside. I do enjoy that side of the work.
  “I also enjoy that I think you are doing some good really -people get to enjoy and see your work. “It’s one of those jobs where you can step back at the end of the day and say ‘that’s what I have achieved’. Job satisfaction is very high.”
  Will got into groundskeeping through volunteering after completing a university degree in geography.
  “I have always had an interest in nature and the outdoors”, he said.
  “I would go out for walks when I was a kid, I would be in the garden just messing around building dens, fishing, pine cone fights - you mess around but you begin to appreciate what is around you.
  “After university I knew I wanted to work outdoors.
  “In between working out what I wanted to do I did a lot of volunteering.
  “I volunteered at Bradfield Woods which was great - I learnt a lot about coppicing, a lot about general woodland environments - that was fantastic. I used to go every Tuesday and Thursday and I loved it. That’s my main advice, volunteer.”
  For the video interview with Will, visit www.buryfreepress.co.uk

Bury Free Press - Friday, February 27, 2015

Bury’s blades could prove a winning cricket combination

Mayor Robert Everitt at The Crankles in Bury, where some of the willow trees are set to be made into cricket bats – which Alastair Cook could use in an Ashes Test, inset.

Wood harvested from trees in Bury St Edmunds could one day be used in a crucial cricket encounter like the Ashes.
  Harvesting will begin in about two weeks’ time of Cricket Bat Willows from the Crankles, just outside the Abbey Gardens.
  The crop of 41 trees will be collected by St Edmundsbury Borough Council before being sold to renowned willow merchants JS Wright & Sons of Great Leighs in Essex, which turns the timber into ‘blades’ and then sends them on for the finishing touches to be made into bats.
  The Cricket Bat Willow (Salix alba coerulea) first appeared in Suffolk in 1780 and its light, strong timber is a good choice with which to make bats.
  The Crankles, sandwiched in dark, damp soil between the River Lark and River Linnet, is deemed a perfect location for growing the trees.
  The crop will be harvested from March 9 and the work, which has been licensed by the Forestry Commission,
will take between seven to 10 days.
  Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Robert Everitt, said: “As a young man, some 25 years ago, I used to play for the Bury Round Tablers’ Cricket Team in its annual match against the Rotary Club. Of course if we had had bats made of this quality wood grown in Bury, perhaps I would have hit a few more sixes.
  “I’m pleased that these Cricket Bat Willows will have a new use and that some of the top grade bats will be to the standard used in Test cricket.
  “Furthermore, while these trees are being removed before they become diseased, the area will be restocked with fruit and native hardwood species to encourage pollinating insects, creating a sustainable woodland environment.”
  Oliver Wright, a director of, JS Wright & Sons, said if the wood at the Crankles was of a tight grain there was a chance the end product may well be used by “one of the top players in the world”.

For further information on this project please click here

East Anglian - Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bury in Bloom secures new backing for roundabout

Gibbs Denley have sponsored a roundabout in Bury for Bury in Bloom. From left: Gibbs Denley’s Simon Rees, Mark Stratton, Richard Weller and Melanie Lesser (Bury in Bloom).

A roundabout in Bury St Edmunds is to be spruced up with a new sustainable planting scheme thanks to financial backing from a local insurance firm.
  The charity Bury in Bloom has just announced that Gibbs Denley, formerly known as Ling Cook, is to sponsor the Mount Road/Orttewell Road roundabout on the A143 for the next year.
  Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, said St Edmundsbury Borough Council horticultural officer Rebecca Davis would design the colourful scheme for the roundabout, which should be planted this spring.
  She said: “Bury in Bloom looks after 17 roundabouts around Bury and ”all of them are now sponsored. The financial backing helps us to support
a number of floral projects around our lovely town.
  Richard Weller, managing director of Gibbs Denley, which is based on Angel Hill, said: “Having the opportunity to sponsor a roundabout will not only increase the awareness of our business locally but also help improve the local community, making driving around the town a more pleasant experience. We look forward to seeing our sponsored roundabout bloom.”
  Bury in Bloom is an independent charity run by the Bury St Edmunds Society and is made up of volunteers who are dedicated to promoting a greener, cleaner and a more beautiful town.

Visit www.buryinbloom.org for more details.

East Anglian - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

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