A historic woodland path in the heart of Woodbridge has been restored as a new nature walk for the local community to enjoy.
The Notcutts Nature Walk, situated at the rear of Notcutts Woodbridge Garden Centre on Ipswich Road, was officially opened on Friday 12th July. Members of the Notcutt family were joined by the Mayor of Woodbridge Eamonn O’Nolan, local councillors, friends and colleagues for a special ribbon cutting event.
Photo caption: Beryl Campbell (centre left) cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of the Notcutts Nature Walk alongside Caroline Notcutt (centre right) and members of the Notcutt family. They were joined by The Mayor of Woodbridge Eamonn O’Nolan, Notcutts colleagues and the Woodbridge community. (Credit: Warren Page, Copyright: Notcutts Garden Centre)
The idea behind the Notcutts Nature Walk was inspired by Beryl Campbell, Granddaughter of Notcutts’ founder Roger Crompton Notcutt, and her happy childhood memories of playing in the woodland, which has remained a part of the Notcutt family for over 120 years. Many of the trees are over a century old and house a wide range of insects, birds and mammals including badgers and muntjac deer. The woodland has now been restored as a permanent conservation area, open for customers to enjoy during the garden centre’s opening hours.
The Notcutts Nature Walk is a circular half-kilometre trail with information boards to educate visitors on the nature and history surrounding them. Along the trail there are 10 wooden wildlife sculptures to discover, including a family of badgers, squirrels and an owl, carved from trees which fell in the woodland during the Great Storm of 1987. The centrepiece is an impressive wooden sphere to represent the endless ecosystem that trees provide for wildlife and the environment.
Photo caption: An impressive wooden sphere sculpture is the centrepiece of the new Notcutts Nature Walk in Woodbridge. (Credit: Warren Page, Copyright: Notcutts Garden Centres)
Bird boxes, bat boxes and insect houses have been introduced to attract a range of different species to the woodland. Visitors can also see the remains of an original Victorian apple store previously used by Notcutts to store fruit in winter.
Photo caption: Visitors can look out for a family of wooden badgers among other wildlife sculptures along the Notcutts Nature Walk, carved from trees which fell during the storm of 1987. (Credit: Warren Page, Copyright: Notcutts Garden Centres)
Speaking at the opening of the Notcutts Nature Walk, Beryl Campbell said: “I am delighted that this project has come to fruition and it is fantastic to see that the woodland has once again become a great area for all to enjoy.”
Caroline Notcutt, Vice Chairman of Notcutts Garden Centres, said: “It is my great pleasure to celebrate the opening of the Notcutts Nature Walk, and to share this special occasion with so many family members who have enjoyed the woodland over the years.
“Notcutts is rooted in wellbeing as my Great-Grandfather Roger Crompton Notcutt was advised to work outdoors due to ill health, which is how Notcutts started over 120 years ago. Our Nature Walk gives local people the opportunity to get closer to nature and enjoy the benefits it can bring to health and wellbeing, as well as providing a home for many wildlife species.”
The Notcutts Nature Walk is part of an ongoing investment project which will enhance the overall experience for visitors to Notcutts Woodbridge. Construction is already underway on a new restaurant, due to open later this year.
For more information about Notcutts Woodbridge, visit notcutts.co.uk/garden-centres/Woodbridge.