Section of aviary in Bury St Edmunds' Abbey Gardens to be demolished to make way for new facility
A disused section of the aviary in Bury St Edmunds' Abbey Gardens is to be demolished in the next few weeks to make way for a new visitor information point and plant sales area.
The section has stood empty for more than five years and will create space for a new modular building with a sedum roof.
While plants have been sold in the gardens for many years, a lack of space in the rangers' hut by the bowls green has meant that they have had to be moved in and out of the building at the start and end of each day.
The new facility will be run by the parks team and will replace the rangers' hut which is no longer fit for purpose.
A decision on the future use of the old rangers' hut has not yet been made.
The rest of the aviary will remain.
The existing kiosk, known as The Garden Café, sells ice cream, lollies and drinks and is expected to stay open throughout the building work which is hoped to be completed by early in the school summer holidays.
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A spokesman for the West Suffolk Council said: “The Abbey Gardens and the wider historic fabric and heritage of the Abbey of St Edmund continues to be a popular attraction for local residents and visitors alike.
“We recognise that people visit the gardens for leisure activities as well as to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and that is why we are continuing to invest in its facilities as well as building new tennis courts on the site of the former Eastgate Nurseries on the other side of the river.
“West Suffolk Council is a member of the Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership, set up to help people better understand the life and times of St Edmund and the Medieval Abbey and to ensure its conservation for future generations to enjoy.
"Further improvements will be made in the area as the work of the Heritage Partnership progresses including a series of community celebrations next year to mark 1,000 years since the foundation of the Abbey."