Bury St Edmunds couple's purchase of part of Holywater Meadows will safeguard green space
A Bury St Edmunds couple have purchased part of the Holywater Meadows in order to preserve its green space.
Sarah and Stephen Gull bought the 14.85 acres of land off Cullum Road, known as The Butts, which was put up for sale three years ago.
They are talking to conservation groups about ways it can be managed and preserved.
Sarah, a former consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at West Suffolk Hospital, has lived in Bury since 1993 and says it is important the site is preserved from development.
“It’s wild and not been managed for 30 years – there are four railway carriages there hidden in the undergrowth.”
Sarah and Stephen, a physics professor at Cambridge University, purchased the area as amenity land for £220,000.
They live just opposite in Friars Lane and are inviting members of the Bury Water Meadows Group and the Bury Society to join them in exploring the site and seeking the best way forward and have organised a meeting next week.
Sarah said: “A lot of people are very excited about this. This is a huge patch of land in the middle of Bury St Edmunds and it’s very, very important to prevent development there. It is an important green site.
“There are two big meadow areas, a big swampy area and a big woodland area and wild flowers on the wetland area. There has been a massive reduction in invertebrates so it’s really important we have wild areas
“I’ve been down there exploring among the brambles and nettles – it’s like a secret garden.”
Martyn Taylor, chairman of the Bury Society, welcomed the news. “It’s fantastic. It’s a very important purchase to safeguard the future of that area which is one of the green lungs of the town.”
The Holywater Meadows was the scene of massive eco demonstrations when Greene King wanted to build the access road to their bottling plant.
Protesters camped out and tied themselves to trees in a stand off which lasted weeks.
More by this authorLesley Anslow