A tour of Holywells Park

Paul Sawer

Today our Hedgehog Officer was invited to meet the mayor and sheriff of Norwich to promote our hedgehog work in Ipswich. Here she tells us more!

Today I was lucky enough to help promote the work of Suffolk Wildlife Trust and our Ipswich hedgehog project, to the mayor and sheriff of Norwich (David Fullman & David Walker), and mayor of Ipswich (Sarah Barber), who were visiting Holywells Park on a grand tour of the town.

The tour was led by Richard Sharp, Community Engagement & Volunteer Officer at Ipswich Borough Council, who heads up the Heritage Lottery Funded project at Holywells Park. Here are the group alongside the amazing hedgehog sculpture, made by the Holywells Creative Art Collective (and recently named ‘Stickle’ as part of a competition launched late last year).

Mayors hedgehogs

It was brilliant to learn more about the history and heritage of Holywells Park, and promote the contribution of the trust in engaging park visitors with wildlife too. Suffolk Wildlife Trust regularly collaborate with the council, friends of group, Ipswich Wildlife Group, Buglife and Greenways in running wildlife events in the park. Our Closer to Nature work, ran by our Ipswich education ranger, Lucy, has also been amazing in inspiring a new generation of young naturalists, through her young wardens group, wildlife watch and skills courses at Holywells (and across Ipswich!). Our hedgehog work has encouraged residents near the park to get involved with hedgehog conservation action, with our hedgehog footprint tunnel surveys, night walks and events promoting the use of our night cameras in Ipswich gardens and the implementation of holes in garden fences!

On a whistle stop tour of the park highlighting the heritage, community, health and wildlife benefits of the Heritage Lottery funded project at the park, we stopped off in one of the wildlife areas to highlight some great habitat (including some excellent bramble, prime for hibernating hedgehogs!) and some of the contributions made by volunteers. Just yesterday Lucy and I had worked with local families to begin building a giant bug hotel (which of course had a lovely hedgehog nesting section beneath) as part of our Wildlife Homes event with Friends of Holywells, Ipswich wildlife group and Greenways.

Keep an eye on our facebook page (Suffolk Wildlife Trust in Ipswich) or What’s On, for upcoming wildlife activities in green spaces across Ipswich!