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Shock and disappointment after bench is stolen from Greener Growth nature trail in Oakes Road, Bury St Edmunds

The leader of a community group in Bury St Edmunds which works to transform the town’s green spaces has spoken of her disappointment after a handmade bench was snatched from a nature trail.

Joannah Metcalfe, founder and director of Greener Growth, said she was ‘shocked’ to hear that the bench had been stolen from the Oakes Road Woods nature trail on the Howard Estate at some point on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s very disappointing and a real shame,” she said.

A bench has been stolen from the Oakes Road Nature Trail on the Howard Estate. (8811846)
A bench has been stolen from the Oakes Road Nature Trail on the Howard Estate. (8811846)

“There are so many wonderful things that go around in the town and on this estate and then occasionally someone comes along and tries to ruin it.

“It’s only about two per cent of the time but it really does spoil it for those who take great pride in the work that has been done.”

The bench was installed on the nature trail around five months ago and was paid for with money from Cllr Paul Hopfensperger’s locality budget.

“I can’t believe that someone could steal a bench in broad daylight and just walk down the street with it. It’s astonishing,” he said.

After posting an appeal on Twitter, Cllr Hopfensperger was also heartened to receive support from local business Armstrongs Funeral Services, based in St Andrews Street North, which offered to help replace the stolen bench.


Davina Armstrong, who runs the business with her husband Nick, said: “We were shocked and saddened that somebody felt the need to steal something put in place simply for others to enjoy and as a long standing family business in Bury St Edmunds we felt we could help.

She added: “Hopefully we can help with a replacement very soon.”

A fire crew was also called to an incident in St Olaves Road on Wednesday night after reports that a bench was on fire near the community centre. Police say the incident is being treated as suspicious.

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