Exciting Times for Londonthorpe Wood!
With the approval of Stage 1 funding for the ‘Reconnecting Grantham to its Historic Landscape’ project, work can finally get underway on this exciting project at Londonthorpe Wood, in partnership with the National Trust! I hope that you will all support this fabulous project as much as you can!
For those of you that don’t know, Belton House and Londonthorpe Wood once both formed part of the 17th Century Brownlow Estate, but over time this historic landscape has become fragmented. The National Trust and the Woodland Trust have now come together with an ambitious project to reconnect these landscapes and create new access points between the sites to allow people to explore further. Joint welcome information and resources will integrate the sites’ identities, and enable people to learn the shared heritage story of these two special places.
The project will also involve conservation work to improve wildlife habitats across both sites, including the restoration of the iconic Lime Tree Avenue containing many veteran and ancient trees, and the more modern wildflower meadow at Londonthorpe. There will be archaeological surveying as well, to restore key built heritage features such as the remains of the Machine Gun Corps camp at Belton and the RAF Regiment station at Alma Park. With an extensive community and volunteering programme to involve local people from a wide range of backgrounds and enable them to learn new skills and contribute to the ongoing management of this historic landscape, there really is something for everyone!
As the Project Development Officer, over the coming months I will be creating a wide variety of consultation opportunities for local people; individuals, organisations and community groups, to find out what local people would like to see at Londonthorpe and identify ways in which we can work in partnership to open up the landscape to more users. Through pop-ups in the wood and in local venues, formal events, talks and presentations and online surveys I hope to gather as much information as possible to inform how we take this project forwards to ensure that the maximum number of people can benefit.
A key part of the project will be focussing on ways local people can use this site to reap the health and wellbeing benefits of access to all that green space. From Alzheimer’s groups to Cubs and Beavers, and everyone in between, we are hoping that this amazing landscape will become a much-loved community resource that can have real benefit on the lives of local people.
At the same time, it’s a great opportunity to showcase the very best work of both organisations, and become a flagship site on the doorstep of our Woodland Trust Headquarters which we can all benefit from.
I am very keen to hear from current Woodland Trust volunteers so if you have any contributions that you would like to feed into the consultation please get in touch. I’ll also be posting regular updates on Whittle, so watch this space! If you know of any local groups or organisations that might benefit from being involved, please let me know.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with feedback. There will also be opportunities for local volunteers to get hands-on and help out if anyone is interested in getting involved – volunteer opportunities will be advertised on the Woodland Trust website in due course, so keep an eye out for them!
Deborah Bircham – Project Development Officer – Londonthorpe