Saturday 26th September 2015 10:00 – 18:00. Willow Tree Fen Nature Reserve, off Counter Drain Drove, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 3JH. Between Bourne and Spalding, south of the River Glen, the entrance is over a small bridge opposite Bank House Farm on Counter Drain Drove between Pode Hole and Tongue End.
Although the festival starts the day before on the 25th, we’re delighted to be holding our official launch at Willow Tree Fen Nature Reserve courtesy of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
Willow Tree Fen is the largest area of wild fenland in Lincolnshire and over the last five years has undergone a transformation from arable land where beans and cereal were grown to a more traditional landscape of shallow meres, seasonally flooded pastures, hay meadows and reedbeds where wildlife now thrives. In January 2010, over 120 visitors helped Heritage Lincolnshire carry out a geophysical survey, field-walk the site, auger test deposits and dig test pits. Four trenches were dug crossing the site of a Roman drainage ditch. The fieldwalking yielded two new Iron Age/Roman saltmaking sites and a selection of Roman domestic pottery. You’ll also have the chance to find out what’s happening in the local area, so make a day of it!
The launch event is perfect for the whole family and will include several guided walks around the site (including a bat walk at 18:00!), crafts, den building, mini beast hunts, Nature Detectives, pond dipping and dissection of owl pellets
In my first post I described the landscape that the South Lincolnshire Walking Festival will cover – North and South Kesteven, Boston and South Holland. This time I’m focusing on the Fenland landscape between Spalding and Bourne, where big, open skies are a blank canvas for cloud formations, spires and steeples dot the horizon and huge flocks of birds take flight beside strangely named waterways.
Lapwings and Wigeons at Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s Willow Tree Fen – John Oliver
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s South East Warden John Oliver and South Lincolnshire Fenlands Partnership’s Amanda Jenkins who gave me a tour of the wild and beautiful Willow Tree Fen. According to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust the purchase of Willow Tree Fen in 2009 increased Lincolnshire’s wild fenland by 200%.
The Nature Reserve is an evocative place that makes you want to explore as there’s something different to see at every turn. I particularly enjoyed discovering ‘THE’ willow tree from which the Fen takes its name and hearing all about the Trust’s plans for the site. There’s ample parking, great interpretation areas and facilities. John and Amanda are enthusiastic supporters of the South Lincolnshire Walking Festival, planning on leading walks on and from Willow Tree Fen but also running various family activities and registering walks in the local area and involving local landowners and businesses who have a passion for the fenland, its wildlife and its heritage.
As I left the nature reserve I was struck by the unusual names in the surrounding countryside. Pode Hole, Tongue End, Twenty Drain, Guthram Gowt, Cowbit…. Can’t wait to find out about the stories behind those names!
Watch this space for more information on walks on or near to Willow Tree Fen but until then here some links you might find useful if you’re planning on visiting the area:
Contact: Beverley Gormley – Cultural Events Officer
Step forward to lead a walk in the first South Lincolnshire Walking Festival
Heritage Lincolnshire, a charitable trust based in Heckington, is urging organisations and businesses to volunteer to lead walks in the first ever South Lincolnshire Walking Festival.
The brand new walking festival will take place between 25th September and 31st October this year and will feature free guided walks in North & South Kesteven, Boston and South Holland. There are already around 30 different walks lined up so far, led by organisations such as the Ramblers, Walking for Health groups, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, the Forestry Commission and the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology but more are needed to help attract visitors to the south of the county.
Beverley Gormley, Heritage Lincolnshire’s Cultural Events Officer, said “The South Lincolnshire Walking Festival is creating a real buzz in this part of the county! North & South Kesteven, Boston and South Holland are jam packed with heritage and history and we want to help show off those hidden gems to local people and visitors while helping to boost the local economy. This is our chance to put this part of Lincolnshire firmly on the walking festival map.
South Lincolnshire has a varied landscape that has witnessed Bronze Age burials, Iron Age mints, roman forts, the Knights Templar, castles and abbeys but the festival isn’t only for history lovers! Whether you want to roam with Ramblers, have an adventure with your kids, get snapping on a photography foray or get fit on a health trail, there’s something for everyone. The walks will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays so that those who work or want to involve the family don’t miss out. Anyone who’s interested should go to www.southlincswalking.com or our Facebook or Twitter pages to find out more.”
Heritage Lincolnshire also organises the successful Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival in partnership with the Wolds Countryside Service and is keen to promote Lincolnshire’s heritage to walkers. If you or your organisation are interested in leading a walk, your business would like a walk to start or finish at their premises, or you would like your organisation to be featured in the brochure please get in touch by email at email@example.com, phone 01529 461499 before 23 February 2015.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire is a charity, established in 1991, whose activities ensure that the special character and significance of Lincolnshire’s heritage is understood, valued, conserved and celebrated for the benefit of local people, visitors and future generations.
The Trust is supported by County and District Councils, national heritage bodies, through commercial activities and sponsorship. We welcome donations [including gift aid] and legacies.
The Trust’s key objectives are to:
Provide high quality learning and volunteering activities which attract a diverse audience and raise awareness of Lincolnshire’s heritage.
Increase participation in heritage activities through community engagement.
Develop and deliver conservation projects that secure investment for Lincolnshire and contribute to economic regeneration.
Undertake archaeological fieldwork and research that advances our understanding of Lincolnshire’s historic environment.