Connecting and promoting a variety of distinct and individual public green spaces in the heart of Lincolnshire.
The Witham Valley Country Park (WVCP) partnership was established to improve and increase the connections between our green spaces from the centre of Lincoln into the surrounding countryside. By encouraging people to value their green spaces, it is hoped nature will be protected for generations to come.
The partnership between North Kesteven District Council, City of Lincoln Council, West Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Natural England, the Environment Agency and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust focuses on the development of a sub-regional country park, in and to the south west of Lincoln.
The WVCP is not one big area but a connected network of managed outdoor space spanning 10,500ha with cycling and walking links to other recreational areas to promote improved accessibility to green space, nature and health and wellbeing. Development of the area has also contributed to re-establishment of effective green infrastructure and flood risk management. The WVCP area is rich in biodiversity and provides habitats that support a diverse plant, bird and insect population, perfect for bird watching activities. The park contains Sites of Special Scientific Interest, as well as Local Wildlife Sites, which contain species of flora and fauna that are rare in Greater Lincolnshire.
The park areas and woodland that make up the park include Skellingthorpe Old Wood, Hartsholme Country Park, the West and South Commons, Tunman Wood and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust's nature reserves: Whisby Nature Park and Boultham Mere.
The park area hosts a wide range of sporting and leisure activities that include fishing, camping, dedicated cycle routes and much more, with formal tennis courts and football pitches situated amongst the open green spaces. There is also an 18-hole golf course on the West Common just a short distance from Lincoln city centre.
In 2013, CBA consultants completed a Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping study in Central Lincolnshire through a detailed exercise in the WVCP and Lincoln with the results used to influence strategies and proposed developments.
Work to date has seen the production of leaflets and promotional boards together with infrastructure improvements including new and improved cycleways and footpaths. In 2016, signs were put up to mark four key points of entry to WVCP at North Scarle, Skellingthorpe, Brant Broughton and South Hykeham.