Spring starts to bring the park to life

It’s been a long, long year affecting everyone in one way or another.

We’ve all missed the opportunities to meet in the café and at events, and can’t wait to bring activity back to the park; as spring starts to bring the gardens to life it feels like time to start planning this summer.

The open green spaces of the park have been a real benefit during the past year as a meeting place for many people, a space of calm amongst the world of pandemic.  Seeing how well the park has been used shows how appreciated the work of our volunteers is – I’m sure you’ll join me in thanking the volunteer gardeners, some of whom carried on (at a safe distance) through lockdown

In the first lockdown we proceeded to create the new bridge and play area to open up the upper lawn. The transformation to the eastern end of the park is amazing, and it’s great to see so many people enjoying the space and hear all the positive comments. 

benches in North Lodge Park

A huge thanks goes to those of you who helped the project by sponsoring a plaque on the bridge – apologies there weren’t more available but we are looking at another opportunity for those of you who missed out (watch this space), and those who sponsored a bench on the upper lawn.

The landscaping and ground works around the project are in progress, with new beds around the bridge to soften the harsh edges.  We are working with Cromer Green Spaces to make some parts of the park more wildlife friendly. 

  • The top end of the upper lawn is being left un-mown this year to develop into a natural wildlife area; there has been no treatment to this grass for many years so we are hoping for a natural development suitable to sustain wildlife
  • The southern third of the old clock garden is being sown with fresh wildflower seeds suitable for wildlife, this area will be more of a wild flower area, with plants that support a wide variety of wildlife

All our 2020 events were cancelled last year, but we are carrying forward last year’s theatre events and planning for Macbeth in June, HMS Pinafore in July, and Alice in Wonderland in August.  Tickets for these shows will go on sale at Easter.

north lodge park cafe
We’re still getting plans together for reopening the café, which we hope to do in time for Whitsun, so sometime during the third week in May.

Opening in May isn’t ideal as it means there won’t be time to get ourselves together before the summer rush – when we first opened in 2015, we did it in August in less than two weeks from a standing start!  

We’ll need all the help we can get, so if you want to join the merry band of volunteers, now could be the time.  Email us at cafe@northlodgepark.org.uk to discuss how you can help – we’ll need café helpers and bakers.

We also need to appoint a cafe manager – if you know anyone who would like to join us and manage the cafe please ask them to get in touch.  As usual in the summer we will supplement volunteers with some seasonal helpers – if you know any students looking for a summer job, tell them to look no further!
Please stay safe in these difficult times – let’s hope the next year brings better times; as Eeyore said: It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.
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