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Bench installed in memory of dedicated member of Diss River Care Group June Lewis




A bench has been installed on Fair Green in Diss in memory of a dedicated volunteer who helped to create a town nature reserve.

Alison Bannister, Suzanne Kayne, Chris Lewis, Beth Dewhurst, Simon Noble and Madeline Lees. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.
Alison Bannister, Suzanne Kayne, Chris Lewis, Beth Dewhurst, Simon Noble and Madeline Lees. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.

June Lewis, who died aged 68, was a member of the Diss River Care Group, which was set up to care for the River Waveney as it passed through the town, as well as the public riverside areas.

Volunteers went on to form a branch of the River Waveney Trust, which transformed a once-forgotten corner of Diss into a wildlife haven.

Located just off Sawmills Road, Frenze Beck Nature Reserve, which is owned by South Norfolk Council, was created as a small wildlife park in 2003.

For a number of years, the reserve lay forgotten, becoming overgrown and inaccessible. The River Waveney Trust became aware of it in 2015 and launched a 10-year project to conserve the site.

June Lewis, pictured right, with her fellow volunteers.
June Lewis, pictured right, with her fellow volunteers.

Three years later, a small but dedicated team of volunteers worked tirelessly to create a new network of paths and create habitats for a host of flora and fauna.

Mrs Lewis was one of its most dedicated volunteers – as she also was for the Diss Community Farm – and her husband, Chris, was the local co-ordinator. Following her death in 2018, Diss Town Guide Committee decided to donate £215 for a bench in June’s memory. The bench was made by Diss craftsman Ian Allan.

“We had some money left which we wanted to use for the good of the town,” said chairman Beth Dewhurst. “My first thought was to create something for June as she dedicated so much time and effort to both the River Care Group and in creating Frenze Beck. She is very sadly missed.”

  • Anyone interested in knowing more about the Frenze Beck Group, or the community farm, should email c.h.lewis@btconnect.com.


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