Residents support plans for friends group to boost nature reserve as a ‘community asset’

Cllr Julia Wakelam in Tayfen Reserve
Cllr Julia Wakelam in Tayfen Reserve
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Nearly 40 people flocked to a meeting to support plans to set up a friends group to care for a Bury St Edmunds nature reserve and boost it as a ‘community asset’.

Thirty seven residents gathered at West Suffolk House on Monday night to share ideas about the move to establish a Friends of Tayfen Nature Reserve.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Green Cllr Julia Wakelam and Independent Cllr David Nettleton, who will use their locality budgets to support the group’s work.

Cllr Wakelam said: “It was such a wonderful community effort.

“It’s really nice how many people care about the space.”

She said the meeting heard from residents who cut back brambles at the site, keep records of butterflies and were involved in a campaign in 1995 to save the reserve from being developed.

Cllr Wakelam said the group would bring together these individual efforts.

They would like to revive the tradition of holding family events at the reserve to make it more of a ‘well used community asset’ which would deter anti-social behaviour.

She said: “There’s been a certain amount of anti-social behaviour at the playground - that’s something I will get onto the police about. If it becomes more treasured by the community that kind of behaviour tends to fade away.”

They are also looking to involve schools in the area in the group’s work.

A steering group of eight people has now been formed to help officially establish the friends group.