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Gunton hay raking day

PUBLISHED: 13:15 28 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:45 06 July 2010

Saturday's hay rake at Gunton Community Park attracted over 35 people of all ages and from all walks of life. After gathering at Gunton Baptist Church, the Mayor of Lowestoft, Councillor Malcolm Cherry, complete in his mayoral finery, led the party of volunteers onto the park's wildflower site and officially started the proceedings with the ceremonial first rake of the hay.

Saturday's hay rake at Gunton Community Park attracted over 35 people of all ages and from all walks of life. After gathering at Gunton Baptist Church, the Mayor of Lowestoft, Councillor Malcolm Cherry, complete in his mayoral finery, led the party of volunteers onto the park's wildflower site and officially started the proceedings with the ceremonial first rake of the hay. Using traditionally designed wooden tools, youngsters and adults spent much of a sunny morning taking part in what was, in fact, a modern version of what took place in the same area some three centuries ago when the site was part of Magdalene College Farm; Saturday's hay rake, however, was much more of a social event. Organised by the park's Woodland and Heritage group and with funding from the project's Heritage Lottery grant, Sarah Moore from the Green Light Trust guided everyone in the use of the wooden rakes. Also present were Councillors John Fryers and his wife, Maureen, Councillor Allison Barron, PCSO Vincent and members of Waveney District Council's Community Development team. And, of course, at the end of an exhilarating day there was the prospect of free ice cream for all of those who helped. Councillor Fryers, on behalf of the Wildlife and Heritage Project, thanked everyone for their hard work. In the historic past, the hay would have been stored for winter feed for sheep, goats and cattle; on Saturday, it awaited collection to be turned into mulch.

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