We take every opportunity to increase biodiversity and protect nature, and our ambitious Climate Emergency Action Plan will see us go further in future. We want to see a greener and more vibrant natural North Kesteven!
Natural Assets in NK
We own a variety of green (and blue!) spaces in the District which are managed to provide a safe and welcoming space for both humans and nature.
Millennium Green, North Hykeham, is an open space with lakes and diverse habitats. It’s popular with local families and walkers and is a valuable space close to the urban areas of Lincoln.
Lollycocks Field, Sleaford, is a wetland area near the River Slea which is currently undergoing work as part of the Blue Green Corridor project. The work is titled ‘Taking Care of Lollycocks’ and will see improvements to the mixed wetland, scrapes, grassland and tree cover.
The Nettles, Sleaford, on the opposite bank of the Slea is a special spot with live willow sculptures and a hint of wilderness to explore. A dedicated volunteer group helps keep it a beautiful place for nature and people alike.
Mrs Smith’s Cottage, our museum in Navenby, is a bastion of nature promotion. The venue hosts sustainable planting for insects and pollinators, alongside bug hotels, and a focus on biodiversity and environmental issues through its education programme.
Blue Green Corridor Project
This major project, in partnership with SKDC, aims to revive stretches of the Rivers Slea and Witham. In Sleaford, work to the Slea will improve the channel and banks, as well as nearby spaces, with the aim of attracting more wildlife and visitors to enjoy the town’s waterway.
The project has a separate website at www.withamsleabluegreencorridor.co.uk
At Whisby Nature Park, a former gravel pit has been given back to nature, and allowed to fill with water. Over the last 30 years it’s become a haven for birdlife and plants,and is a great space to visit with your binoculars! The Whisby site is a partnership between North Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
While you’re there, Whisby Natural World Centre (owned by NKDC) provides facilities and insight into how nature is benefitting from this former industrial landscape. Viewing balconies, a café and education centre are all available.
Explore the Witham
Witham Valley Country Park stretches from Hill Holt Wood near Norton Disney to Lincoln and Skellingthorpe, and incorporates Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Nature Reserves and Local Wildlife Sites. A glorious patchwork of sites and habitats, this Country Park forms a green spine for the District. Find out more at www.withamvalleypark.co.uk.
Part of the Park is Tunman Wood, which is co-owned by NKDC, LCC and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, and is a restored ancient woodland with reputed links to the Knights Templar! A beautiful and tranquil spot to enjoy spring bluebells and varied birdsong.
A current project - Wilder Witham – is designed to allow natural recovery along the Witham Valley. Nearby, Doddington Hall has commenced a major rewilding project which promises to be a boon to wildlife in the area – find out more at www.doddingtonhall.com/wilder
Stepping Out is our extensive network of walks, taking you around some of the most beautiful wild spots in North Kesteven. The more-than 130-mile network is maintained by our partners Hill Holt Wood, always with an eye on boosting nature while balancing access needs. With 30 routes to choose from, and two long-distance routes, many walks are dotted with artworks for added inspiration.
Plans for World Beautification
The Central Lincolnshire Local Plan contains ambitious plans for improving the natural world – and access to it – not just in North Kesteven, but in our Central Lincolnshire partner areas too (City of Lincoln and West Lindsey). Taking a shared approach to environmental planning across over 800 miles of land at the heart of Lincolnshire, the plan promises to deliver a future that prioritises wild flora and fauna for generations to come.
When it comes into force in 2023, new Biodiversity Net Gain regulations under the Environment Act 2021 will mean that building developments must not only protect nature but boost it by 10% too. Developers will have to ensure that the gains are protected for 30 years.
Throughout all our work, our Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan aims to ensure a safe and healthy future for North Kesteven, and much of the work undertaken will benefit nature. Many of the current solutions and adaptations to climate change enlist the natural world’s ability to self-heal. Planting more trees and plants, allowing grasslands to thrive, reducing emissions and air pollution – they all add more diversity to our world while protecting us from the worst impacts of climate change.
Strategies for Growth
NKDC’s Tree Strategy formalises our intention to plant 5000 more trees on Council land across the district between now and 2027. One example of this is at Sheldrake Road in Sleaford, where 700 trees have been planted already, with wildlife and wildflower areas in progress. This scheme is designed to benefit nature while providing enrichment to the local area.
Alongside this, our Open Space Strategy looks at how all the various green spaces we own are managed overall. We keep an open mind about how we care for these areas and take expert advice from our partners to do the best for nature, while balancing the expectations of residents.
Find out more about our strategies here
Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park is a multi-million-pound development on the outskirts of Sleaford. Doesn’t sound very natural? The vital commercial project comes with a healthy dose of environmental enhancements, helping to turn what is currently an arable field into a spot with more to offer wildlife. Features on the site will include native trees and self-watering planting areas sculpted to use rainwater, hedging and a wildflower meadow to support pollinators. Provision will be made for other wildlife too with bat and bird boxes, hedgehog homes and log piles for reptiles and insects.