Lincolnshire Environmental Awards 2022 Finals

The Finals of the Lincolnshire Environmental Awards were held on 8th October at Whisby Nature Park



Saxilby Nature Project – How they plan to use the prize money


Our project is to create an outdoor classroom on the Saxilby Nature Project community nature site Hardwick Scrub, which is on Sykes Lane, Saxilby.
We are in the process of converting the field from agricultural land into a woodmeadow habitat. We have planted over one thousand trees native to the UK, and sown a wildflower meadow seed mix. A public path is provided, and kept mown, around the perimeter of the field, and there are various information boards positioned along the path, together with three mown picnic bays.
The site, which is open to the public all year round, is managed by members of the Saxilby Nature Project constituted group and volunteers from the local community, with the help of a local agricultural contractor, who removes the hay annually.
One of the group members is a qualified teacher, who is running Outdoor Discovery sessions on two other community nature sites. Activities which involve water are particularly popular with the children, so with this in mind a series of shallow pools are to be dug on Hardwick Scrub. The mini-wetland will be a valuable wildlife resource, especially during the winter, and provide children with somewhere to pond-dip and paddle.
Local contractors, Will and Ken Timmins, who dug a pond on our other Sykes Lane community site, Ingleby Clay, will carry out the work, hopefully this autumn. A series of shallow scrapes will be made by a bulldozer, and the spoil removed from site. The undulations will then be left to fill naturally with rainwater. The soil is heavy clay, and suitably water-retentive.
Saxilby Nature Project have aspirations of setting up outdoor classroom facilities, including a small car park, accessible toilet, and an open-fronted wooden shelter, on the field opposite Hardwick Scrub, within the proposed solar park. This is on condition that Island Green Power obtains planning consent to construct West Burton 2 solar park, of course.
So far Island Green Power have agreed in principle to leave two and a half acres free of panels, to accommodate the outdoor classroom facilities, and allow children to plant trees and wildflower plugs. A permissive cycleway/footpath is also proposed to provide a circuit of the entire field opposite Hardwick Scrub.
Regardless of what happens with the solar park proposals, Hardwick Scrub is well placed to provide children and adults with excellent opportunities not only to discover and enjoy nature, but also to take part in nature conservation activities.
We are now liaising with Isobel Wright and Lainie Qie from the ecology department at the University of Lincoln, who are involved in the Doddington rewilding project, and look forward to including their input as we go forward with our own rewilding venture.
The £4,000 award money will be spent forming and developing the mini-wetland for the benefit of the natural environment, and as an educational feature for school children taking part in Outdoor Discovery sessions, or attending on school trips.

Saxilby Nature Project scoop Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2022
The Saxilby Nature Project, have been named as winners of the Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2022
The Saxilby Nature Project have won the Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2022 sponsored by FCC Environment and Streets Chartered Accountants. The winning community group was announced at an event held at The Education Centre, Whisby Nature Park, on Saturday 8 October, which bought together three inspiring community group finalists.

Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2022 winner - Saxilby Nature Project
The brainchild of Ross and Eleanor Smith, the Saxilby Nature Project has become a vital resource for the local community by bringing nature close to people’s homes. Launched in May 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the group now have three sites: Hardwick Scrub and Ingleby Clay on Sykes Lane just outside the village and a patch of woodland across the canal from Bridge Street in Saxilby, now known as Saxilby Community Wood.
The local community have embraced the concept. In the last year, Saxilby Scout group have made and installed bird nest boxes in the Saxilby Community Wood, and made habitat piles. A tawny owl box was donated. Volunteers have planted hundreds of wildflower plugs on Hardwick Scrub and Ingleby Clay, and engaged in sessions of bramble management. Several new interpretation panels have been installed featuring artwork by local children of the species seen on the sites. 
Saxilby Nature Project has created community nature sites within easy reach of where people live, and created a sense of ownership and belonging. 

Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2022 runners-up - Sutton on Sea BeachCare
Sutton on Sea BeachCare began in 2016 following a conversation between neighbours about the levels of litter on the beach. So far, the group have cleared more than 2,070 bags of litter but they have become much more than a litter picking group. They also record report to relevant authorities sightings of stranded mammals, invasive species and archaeological finds, and, have encouraged local businesses to go plastic free. With their support, Sutton on Sea and Mablethorpe have joined the network of Plastic Free Communities across the UK.


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