Friday 9th September 2016
After a summer break from my usual Friday volunteering work (Matt had holidays and I had been doing other activities elsewhere), I think we are back to our usual routine. Today (and yesterday) we have been working in the centre of Norwich again in ‘Train Wood’ (so called as it is on the site of a former railway station and marshalling yard) which is adjacent to the river Wensum.
Our main task was to install the first three of eight benches (the money to pay for these has been donated by Tesco Stores) one on the ‘Marriotts Way’, which was done yesterday (Thursday) and two on the river side foot path. One of these two was to be sited close to the river bank so it could afford a view across the river to Wensum Park.
Preparation for this meant clearing a site for the bench, then cutting back tall reeds and rushes which were growing in the river margins and were obscuring the view across the river. This done, then Master craftsman Keith and his apprentice Ben (a work experience young man from Thorpe school who had been working with Matt this last week) managed to build and erect both benches, whilst the rest of us did some more path clearance along the riverside path.
The benches are made of locally sourced green oak; specially made for the ‘Friends of Train Wood’ (on whose behalf we were working), they were delivered as a flat pack product for us to put together on site.
The Friends of Train Wood have successfully applied to Tesco Bags of Help initiative, managed by Groundwork, for £8000.00. The grant is being used to support the Friends Group and local community to improvement access and biodiversity in and around Train Wood.
The Norwich Fringe Project has been working in partnership with the Friends Group to deliver the elements of the grant. As part of this the Norwich Group of TCV, have also been helping the Norwich Fringe Project with the management of Train Woods. They have been involved in cutting and raking off the wildflower meadows and carrying out repair work on the fishing platforms.
Written by Alan Rae, Norwich Fringe Project Volunteer with contributions from Matthew Davies, Norwich Fringe Project Officer