#LoveParks week is a national campaign organised by 'Keep Britain Tidy' to celebrate our parks. In 2022, #LoveParks week ran from Friday 29th July - Friday 5th August and Lowestoft Town Council ran a series on social media highlighting some of the Town Council's parks, their history and how they are maintained. These have been collated into a series of blog posts for you to enjoy.
The final park we are visiting for #LoveParks week is probably a surprise inclusion in our list of parks. The Great Eastern Linear Park (GELP), also known as “The Trams” or “The Old Railway”, runs along the remains of the old Lowestoft to Great Yarmouth railway which closed in 1970 and is, by the very nature of its former life, very long but narrow, totally 1.1miles in length.
Hidden away in Elmtree Ward is Clarke’s Lane Park. This open space includes a play area and sports court in its northern quadrant and an open “meadow” section.
The history of Gunton Community Park is an interesting one. In 1944, Lowestoft Borough Council bought 89 acres of Park Farm and the Warnes’ estate by compulsory purchase. Immediately after the end of the Second World War, construction of the Gunton Estate began in order to resolve a critical shortage of housing. The roads of the estate were laid by German prisoners of war. The remaining rural land formed between Hollingsworth Road and the loop of Montgomery Avenue was developed as a recreational ground during the 1960’s, though some of the eastern area was lost later to housing development near the water tower.
A sizeable, sloping grassed area, Rosedale Park is traversed by two lit footpaths from the busy, main Elm Tree Road. The park is mainly a large open space with a fenced children’s playground in the centre, and goalposts for casual football.
The Ness holds the unique position of being the UK’s most easterly park. The site is accessible for the public to enjoy, with cycling, wheelchair and pedestrian access to the sea wall, Ness Point (the most easterly point in the UK) and the coastal path, a play and picnic area for families and a performance stand.
Tucked away in Kirkley, Fen Park has a history that dates back to the early 1900s. In the 1930s, the land was bought by a Mr Powell, who developed the area into a popular boating lake and menagerie.
The largest park in Lowestoft, Normanston Park covers 9.54ha and was purchased by Lowestoft Borough Council in the 1920s. The park now boasts a popular diner, skatepark, tennis courts, football and cricket pitches, a basketball half-court, outdoor table-tennis tables, and a children’s play area. New fitness equipment has recently been installed in the park and we are looking forward to opening this soon.
The first park we are visiting for #LoveParks week is Sparrow’s Nest. Situated in the North of Lowestoft by the Suffolk Coastline, Sparrows Nest was originally owned by Robert Sparrow, a local wealthy landowner, before being purchased by the local council in the 1890s.