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Vertical Garden Project will cover Wisbech Park's 'awful buildings' in colour

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A pilot scheme funded by Clarion Futures is set to see a project bring colour, vibrancy and a community spirit to a town's under-used park.

Proposals for a 'vertical garden' which will help cover 'pretty awful old 1970s' buildings in Wisbech Town Park with sustainable living walls was discussed by members of Wisbech Town Council at their monthly meeting.

Tim Mann, of Blackfield Creatives, outlined the Vertical Gardens Project, explaining the aim was to encourage as many groups, organisations and individuals as possible to get involved with the scheme, which has been brought forward as part of the 'I Love Wisbech' initiative.

The Vertical Garden Project will see a living wall installed on buildings, including the toilets, in wisbech Town Park. (44235779)
The Vertical Garden Project will see a living wall installed on buildings, including the toilets, in wisbech Town Park. (44235779)

Clarion Futures, the charitable organisation run by Clarion Housing, will be funding the project which will see thousands of old plastic bottles recycled to create a living wall of plants on the park's toilet building.

Mr Mann explained by using recycled plastic the project would not only be environmentally friendly, but would also be sustainable.

The idea would be to use the bottles to grow plants, some decorative others useful such as herbs and vegetables, that can be enjoyed by the whole community.

The bottles would be held on a specially constructed wooden frame set on the toilets' building and Mr Mann said would enhance the many other projects planned for the park including a new pavilion and a water garden.

Mr Mann acknowledged there may be concerns over issues such as anti-social behaviour but he was confident that if the park was made a "Go to venue" and became a much busier place that would help eliminate some of the problems.

He said: "There is a perception that the park is a place for anti-social behaviour, but in reality it is a very beautiful Victorian park right in the heart of Wisbech and it should be celebrated."

Part of the project could see a nature trail created around the town with the park acting as a satellite for that and Mr Mann also highlighted the benefits of bringing people together in the open air on mental health and in beating social isolation.

The project, he hoped, would also bring together partners such as the police, Wisbech in Bloom and the College of West Anglia and said maintaining and watering the garden would be a major part of the ongoing scheme, which could possibly win a further one-off funding of £15,000 from Clarion.

Councillors were impressed by the proposal and agreed the project could make use of the park's council owned buildings.

Councillor Susan Wallwork said: "People were concerned they would be asked for their views and nothing would be done with their voice but you have done something, so I'm instantly over the moon.

"The fact you are tying it in with other community projects is great, you have my absolute 100 per cent support."

And she added, after hearing the project would require potentially thousands of plastic bottles: "If you appeal to the people of Wisbech for plastic bottles the community will rise up to help you."

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