Sprowston woodland wins biodiversity award

A popular area of woodland in Sprowston has won an award for its biodiversity.

Harrison’s Wood, which borders Blue Boar Lane and Salhouse Road, was opened to the public in May and was given the award by the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership.

Accepting the award, town council chairman Ian Moncur said there were big plans in store for the plot, saying: “This is just the start.

“We intend to increase involvement of community groups so that we can manage the woodland and realise our ambitions which include the bridging over of the existing ditch, provision of a car park and maintaining and improving the habitats of the woodland as a priority for conservation.” Public access to the 27-hectares of mixed woodland was made possible through a partnership of the town council with Broadland District Council and the Norwich Fringe Project.

The wood features a network of paths through mixed evergreen and broadleaf trees including oak, rowan, silver birch and scots pine and is home to birds such as chiffchaffs, treecreepers and great spotted woodpeckers.

David Willmott, Broadland District Council’s member champion for community engagement, added: “This is a great project and we were pleased to work with our partners to create a community asset which we hope residents will enjoy for generations to come.”



Hellesdon children get hands-on with rubbish

Children from Kinsale Infant School recently got hands-on with rubbish, in a session designed to help them learn about recycling.
Waste and recycling officers from Broadland District Council visited the school in Hellesdon to talk about what happens to our rubbish after we put it in the bin. And 50 Year 2 children found out what you can and can’t recycle, where they had to separate a mix of correct and incorrect items into recycling and rubbish bins during a practical sorting exercise.
The children found out that that items for recycling need to be clean (without food or liquid remains), loose (not in bags) and correct (accepted for recycling by the council). They looked at items such as envelopes, foil and clean plastic trays, which can all be recycled, and crisp packets, sweet wrappers and plastic food wrapping which need to be placed in the general waste bin.
They also learned about where both rubbish and recycling goes once it leaves our homes, and how it is better for the environment to reuse and recycle where possible.
The children were given quiz sheets to take home, with activities and games to test their new knowledge, and the chance to win a prize of a recycled stationery set if they complete the worksheets.
Lesly-Ann Coughlan, class teacher at Kinsale Infant School, said: “This was an informative session and the children took a lot of new knowledge home about the type of things that can and cannot be recycled.”
John Fisher, Broadland District Council’s portfolio holder for environmental excellence, said: “It’s great to see schoolchildren getting involved in something as fundamental as recycling. We hope that they’ll become recycling champions and encourage their families to recycle correctly at home.”
Find out what you can and cannot recycle in Broadland at

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Homes planned for site of former police station

Plans for a new Co-op store at the site of the former police station at Gashouse Hill have been shelved in favour of a proposal for new homes.

An application for full planning permission has been made to Broadland District Council for nine houses and the associated access and car parking.

The original proposal for a new Co-op was accepted by Broadland District Council and work commenced, including the demolition of the former police house and highways office but that has now been halted for several months.

The Town Council said it had been in regular contact with the district council regarding this, who in turn have been chasing the developers.

That original application will not now proceed and the alternative planning application has been submitted.

The residential development includes a mix of five, three-bedroom semi-detached houses, one four-bedroomed semi and three, three-bedroom terraced properties.

The scheme has been designed to address council officer’s comments at the pre-application stage and to preserve and enhance the appearance of the Aylsham Conservation Area within which the site is located.

The application will be discussed by Aylsham Town Council at its meeting next week.

White Hart Street


Join Team GB at parkruns

The Olympics may be over but now it’s your chance to give it your all and be a part of Team GB.

This Saturday (27 August) I Am Team GB is hosting the nation’s biggest ever sports day with sporting events taking place in every corner of the country.

Broadland District Council is inviting everyone to get involved by attending one of the three free parkruns which take place in the district every Saturday at 9am in Blickling, Brundall and Catton. Everyone is welcome to attend, from beginner to Olympian.

On-the-spot prizes of I Am Team GB goodies will be presented to lucky participants at Catton parkrun, Catton Park, Oak Lane, where runners will be joined by volunteer Paul Evans, who competed in the Olympic 10,000m finals in Barcelona and Atlanta. At Blickling parkrun, Blickling Park, runners are invited to attend in red, white and blue or fancy dress to celebrate the day and Countryside Park, Postwick Lane in Brundall will be decorated for the occasion.

ITV will be shutting down all seven of their channels from 9.30-10.30am on Saturday to encourage viewers to go outside and join in with the I Am Team GB day.

“We’ve all enjoyed watching the Olympics and getting behind Team GB as they represented their country and I’m now counting down the days until the Paralympics begin. I can’t think of a better way to carry on the Olympic spirit than getting involved with the I Am Team GB day,” said Claudette Bannock, member champion for sport at Broadland District Council. “The council supports sport all year round from offering grants to local sportspeople to the Broadly Active scheme which aims to get us all fit and healthy.”

Get involved with the day by tweeting your sporting selfies with #IAmTeamGB.

New runners at the parkrun are asked to register online, print and bring along their unique barcode in order to get a recorded time for the run. Visit to register and to find your nearest parkrun.

To find a new sports clubs or activity in your area, visit

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Sprowston residents invited to greenhouse meeting

Green fingers or just some budding ideas? Either way you will be welcome at the Sprowston Community Greenhouses tomorrow (August 9), 6-8pm, to see the facilities available and meet your neighbours.

Ideas are being sought about how the two large greenhouses at the Sprowston Community Hub in Aslake Close can best contribute to the community in Sprowston.

Anyone who turns up will be offered refreshments and have the chance to try a relevant activity such as potting seedlings.

The Grow Your Community Network, supported by Broadland District Council, now has access to the greenhouses and is keen for local residents to get involved. No experience is necessary.

“We just want people to come along, see what’s here and share any thoughts they might have about how to use this great facility,” said Mike Ellard from the Sprowston Grow Your Community Network. “It will be totally informal. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been inside a greenhouse before or if you’re completely green-fingered. We’d like any thoughts about the best way forward – whether that’s through a gardening club or private plots or a mixture of uses.”

“The town council and the Grow Your Community Network is working hard to give residents as many opportunities as possible and this is a great chance for Sprowston residents to get involved with something new in the community,” said David Willmott, Broadland District Council’s member champion for community engagement. “All residents are invited to share their ideas and have a go at gardening with this new community asset. I look forward to seeing the results.”

If you would like to attend the meeting about the Sprowston greenhouses and get involved please email or call 01603 430138.

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Picture by Wireloose Pix Photography