Blenheim newest park will be something very special – a natural setting in Springlands where mature trees and original features will create a tranquil public green space.
The 2.5 hectares in Severne Street have been gifted by the late Joy and Lloyd Shepherd who lived there for many years. The land is now owned and protected by the QEII Trust which has vested responsibility for it with the Marlborough District Council.
The community has been invited to establish a ‘Friends of Sheps Park’ group- to have input on the management of the land, keeping to the Shepherds’ own ideals about natural and unstructured green space and promotion and support of birdlife.
The Shepherd’s old house has been removed from the site and the land is slowly being cleared to allow the many mature trees and native plants to flourish. A stand of 15 mature walnut trees on the western boundary means that when the park is fully developed and opens for full public use the public will be able to collect walnuts there.
However, it is not intended that the land will be turned into a traditional looking park.
“It will be a ‘free form’ park with trees, a wandering path for ambling or biking, an embanked area and perhaps a little flat space where small children could play a game of cricket. But it won’t be the type of playground that has become common; instead we’re hoping to create something less formal but still well-designed,” says neighbour and Councillor Jill Bunting, who has been closely involved with the planning for the park.
Lloyd and Joy Shepherd’s ashes have been buried, at their behest, between two giant gum trees on the site and a small cairn erected marking their generous legacy to the people of Blenheim.