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An open letter to volunteers and supporters of Clare Castle Country Park

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Here are Clare Castle Country Park we are welcoming the new year with open arms as we take heed of the challenges that we have overcome during 2020.

When we wrote to you at the beginning of 2020, we were full of excitement for a programme that was packed full of new events, we were bursting at the seams with volunteering opportunities and we were thrilled to join with new partners and begin exciting ventures together.

2020 has now passed us and whilst a fraction of our intentions were made possible, we have still taken some time to reflect on the incredible journey that we have been on, with great thanks being made to everyone who has been able to support us through one of the toughest years that many of us have known.

Volunteers at work in Clare Castle Country Park (43499383)
Volunteers at work in Clare Castle Country Park (43499383)

We have under a year left to complete the delivery of our National Lottery Heritage Fund project and it is going to be a busy one. We will be opening our new visitor centre, putting our postponed events back into our calendar, welcoming new volunteers to the trust with a huge range of training and learning opportunities and we will continue to welcome many families to enjoy the park; their own piece of heaven, right here in Suffolk.

Without the loyal dog walkers, the weekend picnickers, the bike ride pit-stoppers, the kickabout-ers the park would be just that, a park. But thanks to you and your visits, your warm ‘hellos’ on a rainy morning and the consistent ‘buzz’ about the place when everyone is enjoying their time outdoors, the park springs to life.

Without our trusty volunteers who keep things ticking over in the background, or those who tend to the station platforms, fences, butterfly gardens and trees, the volunteers who get their hands dirty on Saturday morning craft sessions, our trustees who work tirelessly to keep us viable and the community for continuing to make memories in the park… without all of you, there would not be a Clare Castle Country Park Trust!

We are optimistic about 2021 and we have some wonderful things in the pipeline that we would love for you to come and try out.

We are developing self-led audio trails that you can access from your mobile phone, introducing family friendly geocaches and orienteering maps to enjoy, we’re curating discovery bags that families can hire and carry out their own minibeast hunt, we’ve got art exhibitions, another archaeological dig… it is going to be a busy year!

As the months inevitably slip by and we begin to draw our National Lottery Heritage Fund project to a close, we are going to need you more than ever. We have a new online one-time-donation facility, and we would love to grow our group of Friends so that we can continue to offer an array of activities that our community can indulge in.

Please consider us as a charity that you might like to support in one way or another as we begin to rebuild ourselves and make the trust stronger than ever.

Thank you to all of our supporters and volunteers – let’s make 2021 one to remember.

-- From Natalie Tarling, Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager at Clare Castle Country Park

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