Dereham Shopping Centre

Our new Ellenor Fenn Garden is now open to the public!

We have worked alongside local organisations to create the new ‘pocket park’. The old waste ground has been transformed into a beautiful new community space.

The garden has been named after the 18th-century teacher, writer, and philanthropist Ellenor Fenn who lived in Dereham and even started a Sunday School in 1785 which had 100 pupils by 1788.

The garden is themed around Ellenor’s progressive ideas for educating children, with bird boxes, bug houses and a blackboard in the children’s area.

You can find out more about Ellenor and her husband by going to the old M&Co shop window to see the display created by The Dereham Heritage Trust. A separate display shows photographs taken by the Dereham Photographic Club of the progress in creating the garden.

The garden has been under construction for the past 10 weeks by Landscape gardeners EG Grounds Care along with a whole host of wonderful community effort. This project has brought many people together and it has been a great way to connect again with others after the difficult year we’ve all had.

“The transformation into a pleasant and tranquil place to visit and hold outdoor community events is great for the town and I hope our residents and visitors make best use of it. As you can now see, the garden will easily accommodate marquees and market stalls which will help boost footfall in the town centre and business for local retailers.”

- Breckland’s Portfolio Holder for Property and Projects, Paul Hewett

“We’ve had lots of donations for the garden including the building and painting of wildlife boxes, planters and plants, signage, balloons, people giving their creative skills in design, many hours of research and planning, yarnbombing exhibits and much more - it’s been a great job all round.”

- Mike Webb, chairman of aboutDereham

The opening ceremony for the garden was a fantastic event where we could all gather to celebrate the amazing work and beautiful space. We unveiled the bee, bird, and hedgehog boxes as well as the large blackboard in the wildlife area.

We would love to have everyone come and enjoy the garden. It’s a beautiful space and serene pocket in Dereham’s centre.

The aboutDereham Partnership will oversee the events planned for the garden and we will be responsible for booking and scheduling.

If you or your community group would like to hold a small event in the garden, please find our contact details here or call the team on 07394 564499.

If you do come along and visit the Ellenor Fenn Garden, don’t forget to share your experience and photos on Facebook!