Lincolnshire Limewoods

Lincolnshire is home to Britain's largest concentration of traditionally managed small-leaved lime woodland dating back over 5,000 years. These ancient woodlands are now enjoying a revitalised and more accessible future through the achievements of the Limewoods Project, which has far exceeded its target to plant up to 45ha of new native woodland.


The Lincolnshire Limewoods area covers nearly 16,000ha. Starting just five miles to the east of Lincoln the project area is centred on the Bardney Limewoods National Nature Reserve, a collection of 13 woodland Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Whilst only covering 2.3% of Lincolnshire, the Limewoods project area contains 9% of the county's ancient woodland sites, including just over a quarter of all Lincolnshire's ancient semi-natural woodland, this being the most important woodland for wildlife.

The Lincolnshire Limewoods Project aims to reconnect people with this unique landscape and protect it for the future. In 2004, Lincolnshire County Council submitted the bid for Heritage Lottery funding on behalf of the Partnership, comprising: Bardney Development Trust, East Lindsey District Council, English Heritage, Natural England, Forestry Commission, Heritage Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, and West Lindsey District Council. In 2007 the Woodland Trust joined the Limewoods Partnership following their successful acquisition of farmland adjacent to two ancient woodlands in the project area. To fulfil the aims and objectives identified in the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Lincolnshire Limewoods Project comprised three main programmes:

  • Improving access
  • Education and public enjoyment
  • Management of heritage items


Supported by a Project Officer and Education Ranger the project has so far achieved:

Heritage and nature

  • Over 80ha of new woodland planting by local farmers and landowners to extend and join up existing woodlands.
  • Over 20km of new hedgerow planting to create links between established habitats.
  • Dormice have been successfully introduced.
  • Plants such as wood anemone, woodruff, yellow archangel and rare butterflies such as the brown hairstreak, white admiral and speckled wood are flourishing due to coppice management and the creation of open, sunny routes.

Access and education

  • Over 20km of managed routes have been improved to provide access.
  • A new trail providing access for people of all abilities.
  • Chambers Farm Wood Centre has been refurbished and a new toilet block built.
  • There have been 25 school visits and 15 training events, and a Wildlife WATCH group has been formed.
  • 48 public events have been held including a 'working woodlands' day, craft demonstrations, guided walks and countryside skills training.

The Lincolnshire Limewoods project partners have agreed to continue to work together to develop new projects across the Limewoods area as and when funding opportunities arise. The Succession Plan details many project elements which can be continued through the core work of project partners. It also details a number of potential future projects as identified by project partners. The high priority projects are as follows:

  • Creating links with new projects in the area e.g. Central Lincolnshire; RSPB Community grant scheme.
  • Woodland archaeology.
  • Habitat creation to address effects of climate change.
  • Promote Wragby and Bardney as Limewoods gateways.
  • Promotion of health benefits.
  • Traditional skills training.
  • Continuation of events programme; support to develop new events.

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