Lea Park Plan
Update of 2019 – Year 1
Our main aim this year was to try and reclaim areas of the park that had become over grown and no longer usable. The area at the southern end of the football pitch and towards the hedge on the road side was strimmed and cut back and is now under control of the grass cutting contractors. The area under the trees prior to the woodland entrance were strimmed in the late autumn and we had an amazing show of snowdrops in the area in the spring.
The orchard was getting overrun with nettles so these have been selectively sprayed to allow a chance for other wildflowers to grow. It is planned to have a wildflower area in the orchard.
The paths through the wood have been strimmed to keep paths open and fallen trees have been removed. Branches/logs have been placed along footpath edges to mark the path boundaries – this is an ongoing project as branches become available.
Year 2 – 2020
Wild Flower Meadow – the intention is to turn the section between the orchard and the cricket pitch into wild flower meadow. A mixture of British grass and wildflower seed is to be used. We will try a small section first. All existing grass, plants, flora and weed will need to be removed for successful germination. If not, they will stunt the establishment and growth of the new wildflower seeds. This needs to be done with weed killer containing glyphosate.
Apple and Pear Trees – to be assessed and pruned as necessary during the winter.
Nettles in the orchard are still posing a problem so this is ongoing.
Ragwort – The ragwort is being reduced but needs to be monitored and dug up prior to going to seed.
Thistles are spreading in the orchard and they need to be dug up or cut to the ground prior to going to seed.
Area in the park behind large Chestnut tree at entrance to the woods – This was strimmed in the autumn and there was an amazing display of snowdrops this year. This area is now gradually being brought in to a regular cut by the grass cutting contractors, Tivoli. The area still needs some clearing to enable this area to be fully brought under Tivoli’s cutting schedule. Hopefully this will keep the nettles under control and encourage grass to grow back, although it may need seeding.
Planting of some more native bushes/shrubs in the form of a hedge –The Woodland Trust are donating approximately 130 saplings in November. The Council is to discuss the location of these trees in the autumn.
Bonfire Crater – is to be filled in and grassed over if agreed at Parish Council meeting – quotes and advise as to best method (seed or turf) are to be obtained.
Signage – further signage reference dog poo is to be discussed at a Parish Council meeting.
Benches – Some benches are unsafe and need to be replaced. Others can be upgraded on a gradual basis.
Bins – additional bins are required and the lost bin replaced.
Remove the Blackberry bush that is situated on its own between the area behind BP and the football field.
This to be done in the autumn after the blackberry season.
Football Goals – These need painting or replacing – ongoing, requiring further discussion.
Clear the land on the right at the entrance to old Gainsborough Road that leads to the park.
This has become very overgrown. To give us a start Tivoli have offered to selective spray the nettles and a couple of weeks later to put in a machine to cut it to the ground. It will then be up to us to clear the area. This has been done but will be ongoing maintenance.
It needs to be assessed to see if grass is growing or whether it needs some seeds scattered. Once this has been cleared it can be handed over to Tivoli to bring it in with their regular cutting. They advised this will not be able to be included until next year as the ground is too soft at the moment.
It will achieve two things:
1. Make the village road more attractive, linking the village greens all the way through to the park.
2. Give better visibility when trying to exit the park road into the main A156.
A healthy wood should have a diverse age structure, including seedlings, young trees, mature trees and dead trees. If there is little natural regeneration, or if the only young trees are not native, then the wood will lose its wildlife value in the future. Therefore, it is necessary to plant seedlings of native tree species. These saplings must then be weeded, protected from rabbits and maintained in the future. As the trees grow, tree ties must be loosened and stakes and guards must eventually be removed.
Strim paths through the woods – ongoing task. To consider digging parts of the path out over winter to put down some membrane to stop weeds closing in at the edges.
Southern end of the park in woods by Cromwell pond – Any invasive saplings, in particular the Grey Poplar, are to be pulled out as and when noticed. Leave any Oak trees. There is a small oak sapling growing at the moment.
The nettles were selectively sprayed last year and again this year. Also, some tree safety work has been done here. It would be nice to plant a beech tree and oak tree in the clearing.
Remove as much sycamore as is practically possible.
Sycamore is not native to the UK, and thus has very little wildlife value. It is a very aggressive species, which regenerates profusely and shades out other tree species. Trees of around 10cm diameter at breast height (1.3 metres in heights) can be felled by volunteers with hand tools without difficulty.
If possible, the stumps should immediately be treated to stop regrowth.
Remove aggressive species from the ground flora and understorey in the wood – Elder, brambles, nettles and any snowberry should be significantly reduced, if a diverse ground flora is to develop.
There is a small area of Snowberry near Cromwell pond. The suggestion is that this is left as it provides nesting sites and shelter for birds, who also eat the berries throughout the winter. Butterflies and bees are attracted to the flowers.
Oak Trees – it is hoped to plant donated Oak trees in November when dormant.
Repair the fence through to Lea Lincs wood and provide access for pushchairs – This has been made safe and will now be left and monitored.
The railings by the fallen tree need to be replaced. There are also a couple of wooden railings down on the approach to the park.
Long Term Plan
To plant more Native British Trees – a further application has been made to Woodland Trust.
Wild Flower Meadow – If the trial is successful, to progress the coverage of the wild flower meadow.
Drainage pond – To consider clearing the area to make a feature of the drainage pond in the north section of the woods.
Things to consider when some money comes in from the building of the new houses
· Upgrading the children’s play area.
· Adventure/fitness equipment between the football area and the woods.
· Parishioner request for a bridge from Lea Park to the public foot path in the adjacent field.
· Parishioner request for a fence along the boundary of the A156, for the safety of dogs and children
When funds are known to be available to contact the parishioners to see what they would like to see in the park.