New beauty spot tower to be opened

VISITORS will soon be enjoying a panoramic view of a Wymondham beauty spot providedby a new observation tower.The finishing touches are being added to a new 3.

VISITORS will soon be enjoying a panoramic view of a Wymondham beauty spot provided

by a new observation tower.

The finishing touches are being added to a new 3.5metre (12ft) tower overlooking the four-acre wetland site at Toll's Meadow.

It will be opened at noon next Saturday, (February 16) by the Mayor of Wymondham, and there will be a display about the work of local nature group WyNG, whose volunteers maintain the reserve.

Volunteer warden Ann Roberts will also talk about the reserve and its contribution to the ecology of the Tiffey Valley.

The green oak tower has attracted interest from local residents and walkers who regularly visit the four-acre site a few hundred yards from the town centre, and from station users parking in the adjacent Cemetery Lane car park.

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It has a gentle ramped access with no steps, and is easily accessible from Cemetery Lane. It offers a panoramic view of the nature reserve, with the Abbey's twin towers and the roofs of Wymondham in the background.

Constructed by English Heritage Buildings using traditional techniques of mortice, tenon and peg construction, the tower is designed to add to the interest and enjoyment of the many local people and visitors who come to walk on the peaceful open space.

Decorative carvings on the struts which support the viewing platform were inspired by the carvings on Wymondham's historic Market Cross, a short walk away in the Market Place.

Wood carver Andy Hibberd, from Bunwel,l researched, designed and carved the intricate patterns. His work can also be seen on benches installed along the valley since last summer.

Tiffey Trails group chairman John Wood said: “This tower will be another focal point for the many walkers and family groups who enjoy exploring the five miles of trails along the valley.

“Like the first valley tower on the Lizard opened last May, it gives a fine view of

the Abbey, however, Toll's Meadow tower incorporates structural features and wood carvings inspired by the Market Cross.

“Andy Hibberd has done a wonderful job in designing the carvings and making them come to life on the structure. This is another notable landmark for the Tiffey Valley.”

The Lizard tower project

was devised by Wymondham Arts Forum's Tiffey Trails group, funded by environmental waste charity WREN, and supported by Wymondham Town Council, which owns the land at Toll's Meadow.