Grand opening for nature field

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A FORMER football field in Gedney will be officially reopened as a nature reserve tomorrow.

Children from Lutton and Gedney Church End primary schools will mark the occasion at the Queen Mother Memorial Park Nature Reserve in Lowgate by helping to sow wildflower seeds in the meadow.

The project has been developed over the last two years, under the guidance of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Parish councillor Alan Hargreaves said: “It’s a lovely project and it’s being done for all the right reasons.”

In the early 1970s the four-acre field was transformed into a place to play football in the village.

However, in the last few decades teams have disbanded and the field has rarely been played on.

Coun Hargreaves said the changing rooms and toilet block were repeatedly targeted by vandals, and regular grass cutting cost the parish council a lot of money.

Children’s play equipment was removed from the park after it was deemed unsafe in a report by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Dog fouling also became a problem in the area.

Since then, volunteers have spent about two years getting everything in place to set up the area as a nature reserve.

The costs have been met with the help of grant funding and Gedney Parish Council and the reserve is being managed in line with a similar reserve in Long Sutton.

Coun Hargreaves said: “It’s going to be managed as a traditional meadow. It’s a very pleasant place to go and see a little of what we have to offer in the area.”

Bird boxes have been installed around the field, wildflowers have been encouraged in the meadow and walkways allow visitors can take a stroll around the reserve. A picnic area has also been put in place.

Coun Hargreaves added: “People are using it already for picnics, relaxing and enjoying it.”

Councillors and school children will be joined at the opening ceremony by David Shepherd, from the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.