A new colourful 'pocket park' has been created in the Kirkley area of Lowestoft as part of a project to show community pride in the area.

Throughout the winter, Colombian visual artist and illustrator Catalina Carvajal led workshops with schools, youth groups, care homes and the community to find out what Kirkley means to them.

Over 120 people shared their thoughts, ideas, and designs which inspired a new mural for Cleveland Road as part of the Kirkley Pocket Parks Group gardening project. 

Painting took place in March and April, led by Ms Carvajal and supported by members of the local community.  

In May, members of the Kirkley Pocket Parks Group finished preparing the site, repainted the railings, and planted up the area in front of the mural to create an attractive garden.  

Lowestoft Journal: The mural at the new public area Picture: East Suffolk CouncilThe mural at the new public area Picture: East Suffolk Council (Image: East Suffolk Council)

The garden was officially opened by Caroline Topping, leader of East Suffolk Council, and the event was attended by volunteers, Ms Carvajal, local councillors and representatives from funders and participating schools.  

Ms Carvajal said: “Working with the community at Kirkley and helping to paint the mural on Cleveland Road has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life.

Lowestoft Journal: Colombian illustrator and visual artist Catalina Carvajal (Image: Mikaela Rackham)Colombian illustrator and visual artist Catalina Carvajal (Image: Mikaela Rackham) (Image: Mikaela Rackham)

"Passers-by were very encouraging, and the neighbours were thrilled about having a piece of public art at their doorstep.

"It was lovely to see children and adults pointing at the different bits they could recognise." 

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Wendy Dalton, chair of the pocket park group, said: “It’s fantastic how the new artwork has brought together responses from the community to celebrate what Kirkley means to the people who live here."

The mural project was funded by and delivered in partnership with Kirkley Pocket Parks Group, Kirkley People’s Forum and the Lowestoft Heritage Action Zones, whilst additional funding for the garden was provided by Suffolk County Council and Kirkley Poors. Farrans also provided volunteers, and materials.   

Anyone interested in joining the pocket park group can contact the Kirkley Pocket Parks Group Facebook page or email Wendy@KirkleyPeoplesForum.org.uk.