Purchase of Lawn Wood …

Reported in the Glenside News in September 1995 …

From Richard Foers …

Purchase of Lawn Wood by the LincolnshireTrust for Nature Conservation (now the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust).

With our September monthly footpath walk to Morkery Wood occurring after the deadline for the October Glenside News it has been interesting to reflect for this month’s article just how one thing leads to another.

Having announced that our Morkery walk was outside the parish boundary – for I knew that it comes from the north by Tortoiseshell Wood and down the line of the hedge as the eastern end to join the South Witham road – I was recently involved in a meeting to discuss the way ahead for our footpaths which happened to be attended by representatives of the Lincolnshire Trust.  As a result of our discussions some old and dusty maps were produced which, to my great surprise, showed that the Castle Bytham parish boundary extends in a straight line along the edge of Morkery Wood as far as the A1, then south on the A1 line before turning back east along the south side of Morkery Wood.  So our September walk will have taken place within our boundary after all!

However, the really exciting news this month is that the Trust has been able to purchase Lawn Wood, which abuts its existing reserve of Bottleneck and Jackson’s, thereby preserving it for posterity, not to mention the great pleasure and benefit of local residents.  For the uninitiated, the complex lies to the north east of Castle Bytham, about half a mile due north of the cricket pavilion at Fishpools and alongside the public footpath to Creeton.  A ceremony will be held in the near future to dedicate Bottleneck and Jackson’s in memory of Dr David and Mrs Mary Harris, the latter having gifted the two fields to the Trust before she died.  Bottleneck is so called after the shape of the pasture, whilst Jackson’s next to it is named after a rector of the day.

Lawn Wood is an ancient deciduous wood with a more of less continuous wooded history.  Forming part of the original Kesteven Forest it is of considerable scientific interest, with a wide range of native trees including oak, ash, field maple, hazel, hawthorn, crab apple and aspen.  There are also many fine specimens of the uncommon wild service tree and the woo  is part of the Inventory of Ancient Woodland for the county.  Ground flora has been affected by excessive bramble growth and overgrazing by deer but still includes early purple orchid, woodruff, wood anemone and wood sorrel.  Nesting birds include willow warbler, blackcap, great spotted woodpecker and tree creeper.  The purchase of this wood is significant because its previous owner was in the timber trade and with any other purchaser there would have been the continuing threat of clear felling, to the detriment of the parish landscape, since the wood overlooks the village.

The purchase has been made possible by a family settlement but the Trust has had to dig deep into its capital reserves to conclude matters, which need replenishment.  Keen readers of my monthly page will already know of the event being held in Castle Bytham Village Hall on Saturday night, 21st October (1995), the format of which has now been slightly altered.  Doors will be open at 7pm for drinks before Lincolnshire Trust’s Don Wright gives a brief insight into their work, to be followed by the famous local writer and broadcaster Eric Simms, who will be showing us his slides and talking about his South Witham Nature Reserve by the A1.  Tickets are available from the village shop at £2.50 per head, including a ploughman’s supper.  There will be a licensed bar and all proceeds will be donated to The Lincolnshire Trust.  Tickets are limited, so please encourage your friends to come and give your most generous support to this very worthy cause, which should prove a memorable evening.  To enable every parishioner to contribute a house collection is planned for later in the year.

October footpath walk …
As previously announced in these columns (!) the October footpath walk will be the last organised walk of the season and will take place as usual on Sunday 8 October, starting at 10.30am, leaving from the Castle Inn.

Added : 28/12/11 : MG

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