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Community woodland scheme for field in village

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 December 2019

The proposed scheme for Oaks Meadow at Combs  Picture: DES SHELLEY

The proposed scheme for Oaks Meadow at Combs Picture: DES SHELLEY

DES SHELLEY

Plans have been unveiled to transform a field near Stowmarket into a community woodland and meeting place.

Des Shelley of Save Mill Mount Field Picture: MARK LANGFORDDes Shelley of Save Mill Mount Field Picture: MARK LANGFORD

The proposed scheme at Oaks Meadow off Bildeston Road at Combs would also eventually see an eco-friendly village hall being built.

Landowner Des Shelley said she had come up with the plan following a successful community campaign to fight off developers Gladman who wanted to build homes at nearby Mill Mount Field.

"The campaign brought this community very closely together, and the feeling now is that if we can beat off a developer like Gladman we can do anything" she said.

"We don't have a facility here where we can meet up as a community, so to me it seemed obvious thing to do with the field.

"I inherited it and I always wanted to do something like grow herbs there as I am a herbalist.

"I didn't really have the resources to do that so I thought it would be nice to share this space with the community instead."

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The plans are subject to approval by Mid Suffolk District Council, but if given the go ahead work could start on planting trees as soon as November next year.

Mrs Shelley said ideas included a memorial wood where people could plant trees in memory of loved ones, and a wood where children could plant a tree which they could watch grow as they grew up.

There would also be a children's play area and a fire pit for community meetings and events.

The scheme would serve the villages of Combs and Little Finborough and Mrs Shelley said villagers were keen on the idea.

She said: "The saving of Mill Mount Field brought this community together, something that had not happened for many years since the closing of the village school, the Post Office and shop, and the Live & Let Live and the Gardeners Arms pubs, leaving us with no meeting or socialising facility in the village.

"It would be good to keep this community together and build on all the new friendships that we achieved through adversity."

Anyone who would like to get involved in the scheme can email Mrs Shelley.

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