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New area of the Abbey Gardens has a real buzz about it

Bury St Edmunds is buzzing after the opening of a new bee-friendly garden in the town.

A range of scientifically selected flowers have been planted in the Abbey Gardens in a bid to encourage the bee population.

School children yesterday installed the finishing touches, with decorative bees and The Lady Miriam Way/Airfield Road area of the Moreton Hall estate will continue to be part of Bury St Edmundslady birds made from cans put in around the Mosaic garden bed.

The garden opening marks the return of the Bury In Bloom Crafty Can children competition, with free packs, including wild flower seeds and compost, available from Monday.

Melanie Lesser, In Bloom coordinator, said: “The plants have been selected to attract bees and there are also bee and insect houses being put in.

“It used to be a carpet bed in there, but we have been looking to do a bee friendly garden for some time and this was a good opportunity.

“The Crafty Can competition is back by popular demand. The children will be able to enter their cans and wildflowers and they will be judged by Bury In Bloom. Hundreds of people took part two years ago.”

The Crafty Foxes, who are supporting the can challenge, will also be running 10 workshops in local schools for the children to decorate their cans and learn about bee friendly plants and the importance of insects pollinating plants.

The free can packs will be available from tourist information points in the town, such as The Apex. The seeds provided will be for pollinating and bee friendly wild flowers.

Click Here to download the Kids Crafty Can Competition Flyer

East Anglian Daily Times - Friday, July 1, 2016

Volunteers add the muscle to put care home greenhouse into place

Realise Futures volunteers gave a helping hand to garden club members at Stradbroke Court.

Garden club members at a Bury St Edmunds care home can now use their new greenhouse, thanks to a bit of help from volunteers from a local social enterprise.

Staff at Stradbroke Court sheltered housing in Mayfield Road assembled their new greenhouse in the home’s community lounge but then found it was too heavy to manoeuvre out of the building.

So a team from Realise Futures, based at Nowton Park, came to the rescue. Stradbroke Court manger Elaine Pezaro said: “We needed some muscle to help us get the greenhouse out through the patio doors. The team did a great job.”

The home has entered it’s wildlife garden area into the Bury In Bloom senior green fingers competition.

East Anglian Daily Times - Friday, June 10, 2016

Water-themed walking trail launches in Bury St Edmunds

The launch of the Lark and Linnet bollard trail in the Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds

Budding young artists have helped to launch a new walking trail around Bury St Edmunds.

The Lark and Linnet bollard trail, which is being organised by the Bury in Bloom commit-tee, has been created to celebrate the two rivers which run through the town.

It also gives walkers a chance to find out more about the history of local buildings and the local flora and fauna.

The bollards feature artwork by local schools and photo-graphs of Bury from the Spanton Jarman photographic collection. Trail hunters will have to find all of the 30 bollards and record the number on each one to win a prize.

Trail leaflets will be available to download from Saturday at ourburystedmunds/trails or from the tourist information centre at The Apex, plus tourist points in the cathedral and council offices.

East Anglian Daily Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Popular wolf sculpture on Bury St Edmunds roundabout receives a clean-up

Melanie Lesser and Ben Loughrill with the St Edmunds Wolf Sculpture

The popular wolf sculpture on a prominent Bury St Edmunds roundabout has received a spruce-up from its creator.

Sculptor Ben Loughrill, of Halesworth, gave the St Edmund’s Wolf, on the Southgate Green roundabout, its first major clean.

The statue, which was installed in 2013, was commissioned by the Bury Society’s In Bloom group.

Co-ordinator Melanie Lesser said: “He used a sander to take off the black that had formed over the last three years to bring him back to his original colour.

“The sculpture has weathered really well and hasn’t had any major damage at all.

“It was made from an oak tree which came down during the 1987 storms.”

The clean-up has received the thumbs up from Bennett Homes which sponsors the roundabout and Bury Rugby Club, which ties its scarf around the sculpture every time it has a home match.

Staff from St Edmundsbury Borough Council also apply Tung Oil to the wolf every few months to prevent the wood from drying and cracking.

The wolf guards St Edmund’s crown which sits atop some of the Abbey stonework as a reminder of the saint and martyre’s importance.

Bury free Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

High Sheriff honours those who serve Suffolk

Individuals, businesses and organisa-tions have been recognised for the work they do in Suffolk as part of this year’s High Sheriff ’s Awards.
  At a ceremony held at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket on March 31 eight winners received their prizes while a number of other special commendations and highly commended awards were also made.
  The event was run in partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation and was hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Lesley Dolphin and Suffolk Community Foundation’s Development Director Tim Holder.
  The awards themselves were presented by Suf folk’s High Sheriff,
Judith Shallow, who introduced a new High Sheriff ’s Special Award for the Arts, won by Bury St Edmunds-based Artheads.
  “This new award has special meaning for me personally,” she said. “I have witnessed first-hand the hugely benefi-cial and therapeutic effect that the arts can have on local communities in Suffolk, and wanted to recognise and celebrate this wonderful area of work.
  “There were many great projects who entered, but Artheads were selected the overall winners. Well done to LockARTS, Music in Our Bones and Red Rose Chain for their strong nomina-tions to get short-listed too.”

The full list of awards is as follows: The Corporate Community Partnership of the Year category was jointly won by Norfolk and Suffolk Community Rehabilitation Company’s Community Payback initiative, working with the Broomhill Pool Trust in Ipswich, and Pro-Scape and Bury in Bloom in the west of the county.
  The 2016 Community Group or Organisation of the Year was won by Phoenix Rising, a community interest company with a commitment to enable people to take control of their lives.
  The Volunteer of the Year category was won by Andrew King of Lowland Search and Rescue while the under 25 Young Volunteer of the Year was won by Matthew Foulger of Avenue’s East.
  The Youth Organisation of the Year
winner was the Suffolk Police Volunteer Cadet Scheme and Highly Commended runners up were the Mid Suffolk Holiday Opportunity Play Scheme (HOPS).
  The Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Beccles resident Douglas Peck, the 86-year-old having donated much of his life to support the town.
  Each winner received a trophy and certificate with a cheque for £1,000 given to the community group or charity involved in each category. In the Corporate Community Partnership category, where a joint winner was announced, they got £500 each.
  Each winner was given with a small salver to keep with the larger salver to be returned for the 2017 awards.

East Anglian - Monday, April 4, 2016

Keeping River of Flowers flowing

The spruce up and tree planting at the River of Flowers in Bury.

Volunteers have been out in force to maintain a well-loved flower arrangement in Bury St Edmunds.

Adrian Bloom, from Bressingham Gardens, in Norfolk, helped design and create the River of Flowers on the Tollgate Triangle two years ago.

Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, and volunteers from St George’s Church helped clear the area and plant a new tree last month.

“What was really nice was that there’s a footpath running through the middle of it and a number of people walked through and thanked us, saying they loved seeing the river in full flower as they walked into town,” she said.

The get-together was to tidy up the area and plant the new tree. In full bloom, a river of geranium rozannes creates the effect of a river with other flowers along the side creating the riverbank.

“It was amazing how quickly we managed to clean everything up and it was a very jolly occasion,” said Melanie.

She added of Adrian: “He’s delighted with how it’s progressed and we hope it will be very good this year.”

Bury Mercury - Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New trail will focus on town’s two rivers

The Lark and Linnet Bollard Trail will feature historic pictures of the town as well as artwork by pupils from Westgate Primary.

Emma Brennan

Historic pictures of Bury St Edmunds will feature along-side artwork by students on a new walking trail.
  Following the success of the St Edmund’s Wolf and the Magna Carta Barons trails, the Lark and Linnet Bollard Trail is being created to cele-brate the two rivers which run through Bury.
  Trail hunters will have to find all of the 30 bollards spread and record the number on each one to win a prize.
  Visit Bury St Edmunds and Bury in Bloom are behind the initiative which will see images created by pupils from Westgate and St Edmund’s Primary schools, St James and Howard middle schools and West Suffolk College transferred onto plas-tic wrappers for the bollards.
  At a series of workshops at the schools, tour guide Stephen Moody gave the pupils expert information on the town’s history. Jillian Macready from the Bury Water Meadows Group also described the wildlife that could be found in the rivers.
  The pupils aged from four upwards then drew larks, linnets, butterflies,
bugs and plants that will decorate the bollards, the trail leaflet and the Bury in Bloom website.
  The college students also designed the layout of the pictures prior to printing.
  Bury in Bloom coordinator Melanie Lesser said each bollard would feature a historic picture of the town from the Spanton-Jarman photo g raph collection surrounded by the children’s wildlife images. She added: “People are very interested in history so the idea is to show how various places in Bury used to look. All of the pictures the children have done will surround the historic photographs and there will be either a lark or a linnet on each bollard.
  “We are hoping it will get people to parts of the town they have never visited before and make them aware of our lovely rivers and the work local groups have been carry-ing out to tidy them and make them a lovely place to walk along.”
  The bollard trail is supported by a grant from Bury St Edmunds Town Council and sponsorship from ourbburystedmunds and Linnet Homes. The trail should be in place in time for the May half term holiday.

East Anglian Daily Times - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flower display brightens up historic corner

From left, Melanie Lesser, of Bury in Bloom; Councillor Joanna Rayner; horticultural officer Rebecca Davis; and Bury in Bloom chairman Alan Jary with one of the new planters in Chequer Square.

A historic section of Bury St Edmunds has been brightened up by a new flower display.

Melanie Lesser, from Bury in Bloom, said she was “delighted” to see new planters installed in Chequer Square, near the Norman Tower. It was described as a “great example”of working together, with town councillors Andrew Speed and Joanna Rayner contributing from their locality budgets to buy the two new reservoir planters.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council removed the two old planters and installed the new ones. Suffolk County Council repaired the pavement around the area.

“I am delighted that Chequer Square in this historic part of our lovely town now has a floral display to do justice to the surrounding historic buildings,” said Mrs Lesser.

East Anglian - Thursday, January 14, 2016

Everyone will benefit from floral input

Linda Leong-Son, left, and Tamara Rowe, right, from Martin and Co with Melanie Lesser, centre, from Bury in Bloom.

Making Bury St Edmunds look the best it can be is high on the agenda for estate agents Martin and Co, based in Angel Hill.

As well as being the new sponsors of the Moreton Hall roundabout between Bedingfield Way and Orttewell Road, the company has also got a couple of schemes lined up for 2016 to keep the town looking its best.

Managing director John Rushman said the business was introducing a champagne prize for the tenant with the best-kept front garden for 2016 and would also be liaising with Bury in Bloom to use their knowledge of the local area to recommend different spots where community planting by the group could take place.

“It’s nice for the community and it’s also nice for the landlord so everybody benefits to make the town as attractive and pretty as possible," he said.

East Anglian - Friday, January 8, 2016

Tireless and generous citizens’ efforts recognised

Recipients of the St Edmund’s Day Presentation and Allotments Awards at the Bury Town Council offices.

The annual celebration of Bury St Edmunds’ most selfless citizens took place this week, with the St Edmund’s Day Awards.
  The title of Citizen of the Year went to Melanie Lesser – organiser, coordinator and volunteer for many of the town’s most successful events and schemes.
  The Young Citizen of the Year went to Connie Gibbs. The 17-year-old lost her mother, Zena Butcher, to cancer aged just seven, and with the support of her family and school has raised more than £30,000 for charity in just four months.
  The annual awards, organised by Bury Town Council, are named after St Edmund’s Day, which will be cele-brated today.
  Melanie, whose successes range from the popular Wolf Trail, organ-ised along with OurBuryStEdmunds, to Bury In Bloom, which she coordi-nates, said the award made her “incredibly” proud.
  Despite being a dedicated volun-teer in Bury for many years, she had never won the award before.
  She said: “I was surprised and delighted at winning Bury Town Council’s Citizen of the Year Award. I felt honoured after I heard about the hard work that all the nominees had undertaken to help make Bury such a fantastic town to live and work in.
  “I would like to pay tribute and congratulate all of them on their nominations.
  “The projects I have achieved with Bury in Bloom and the Bury Tourism group would not have been possible without a huge team effort from my
committees and with support from Suffolk, town and borough council-lors and town and borough staff.
  “The Green Fingers projects, now involving all age groups from tiny tots to residents in nursing homes in the town, is something I am particu-larly proud of as we were able to attract local sponsorship and provide excellent prizes.
  “I think the town council’s citizen and young citizen of the year award scheme is a great way to recognise the work that goes on behind the scenes around the town, helping to showcase the excellent projects that the nominees have undertaken in the past year.”
  She also thanked the EADT and Mercurypapers for their support for a range of projects.
  Connie, whose fundraising was supported by her dad Darren Gibbs and her aunt Tracey Butcher, set out to raise £10,000 for St Nicholas Hospice in four months back in July. The Zena 10 challenge was a memo-rial to her mother, who passed away from cancer 10 years ago.
  However, the King Edward VI sixth-form student surpassed that target, with the total likely to hit £35,000 when the counting is completed.
  She was nominated and chosen as the eventual winner due to her “inspirational” commitment to rais-ing funds and awareness of the hospice, and in particular the Nicky’s Way child bereavement services that helped her after she lost her mum.
  The person who nominated her said she was “an extraordinary role model for people of all ages”.

East Anglian - Friday, November 20, 2015

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