Clare Castle Country Park moves forward as trustees outline their plans
Trustees of Clare Castle Country Park outlined their vision for its future at a public meeting held last week.
Despite a submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £1.8million being turned down progress has already been made on refurbishing some of the facilities at the park.
And developer funding under a 106 agreemenmeans means there is money available for a substantial upgrade to play equipment.
Clare Town Council took over the 32.6 acre facility last March from Suffolk County Council.
Major improvements have been completed to the Victorian railway station building and Clare Visitor Centre has also been refurbished with new heating, kitchen and toilets. Stour Valley Volunteers and residents have also carried out clearing work on the Castle motte, station platforms, the railway walk towards Cavendish and around the ponds.
Trustees plan to submit a further bid to HLF to complete further major work.
This includes de-silting the ponds and improvements to Clare Park centre, new toilets at the car park and new information boards.
Chairman of the trustees, Geoffrey Bray, said: “The Park has so much to offer including history, heritage, the railway, flora and fauna, archeology and facilities for children and families. It is important that we make these even better and more attractive for residents and visitors.
“We have had a huge amount of support for what we’re doing and HLF is a fantastic opportunity for us. We have more than 100 volunteers and 50 or 60 are regularly involved.” The park contains the remains of a motte and bailey castle classified as an ancient monument. Parts of the park are a county wildlife site.