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Ipswich's Friends of Landseer Park hailed for five years of work after announcing split

PUBLISHED: 12:50 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:50 10 August 2017

The skating and BMX area in Landseer Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The skating and BMX area in Landseer Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A group of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to improve one of Ipswich's popular parks over the last five years have split - but say their work will remain for future generations to enjoy.

Tara Jones (back row, centre) with the Friends of Landseer Park at the Halloween eventTara Jones (back row, centre) with the Friends of Landseer Park at the Halloween event

The Friends of Landseer Park group was established five years ago when parents near the park felt improvements were needed.

After being told there were no plans to invest in the park, the parents were encouraged to form their own friends group which could fundraise, hold events and encourage others to enjoy it.

But after chairwoman Tara Jones recently relocated to Sheffield and no-one being able to take over the reins, the group has disbanded.

Despite the setback, Mrs Jones said she was proud of the group’s achievements and hoped others would continue to enjoy park.

Tara Jones (far right) accepting the £20,000 grant from the Town 102 Kids Trust for Landseer Park improvementsTara Jones (far right) accepting the £20,000 grant from the Town 102 Kids Trust for Landseer Park improvements

In a Facebook post Mrs Jones, 35, said: “Our main aim was to make the park better for everyone, and we hope you will agree it is far better than when we first started five years ago.”

Speaking to this newspaper she added: “We met a lot of great people through it – other groups such as Jumpers for Goalposts and the BMX team.

The Friends helped fundraise for new play equipment in Landseer Park. Picture: SIMON PARKERThe Friends helped fundraise for new play equipment in Landseer Park. Picture: SIMON PARKER

“The main parts of Gainsborough are the library and the park, and that’s the main focus for this area.”

Among some of the group’s achievements were securing a £20,000 grant from Town 102 and raising thousands for improvements to the wildlife area, football pitch and play equipment.

The Postive Futures 'Jumpers for Goalposts' event in Landseer Park in Ipswich, Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe Postive Futures 'Jumpers for Goalposts' event in Landseer Park in Ipswich, Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The group’s last improvements in July were spent on fencing and improving the pond dipping platform.

Mrs Jones added: “Having a good park is really important.

Official opening of junior play area in landseer park, Ipswich. 
Pictured members of Friends of Landseer Park with Betty Bunny, pupils and staff from Pipers Vale Primary School, Town 102 Kids Trust, Round Table and Ipswich Borough Council. Picture: LUCY TAYLOROfficial opening of junior play area in landseer park, Ipswich. Pictured members of Friends of Landseer Park with Betty Bunny, pupils and staff from Pipers Vale Primary School, Town 102 Kids Trust, Round Table and Ipswich Borough Council. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

“You spend family time there, elderly people having a nice walk, you get people exercising, and it’s lovely to have that environment for children to play in, learn from and respect the park.

“It’s quite a deprived area so that’s important to have that there. We have had an awful lot of support, and we just want to thank everyone for their support in the area.

“A lot have said well done – we did improve it and it’s better than it was when we started, which is what we set out to do.”

A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council said there were no active plans for a new group, but encouraged anyone who wanted to carry on the friends’ work to begin a new group.

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