THE Hills and Hollows has been bought by a parish council that aims to turn it into a nature area – and stop off-road motorbikes.
Clerk of Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without Parish Council Pete Armstrong said they first decided to buy the land, which cost £22,860, when they heard it was being offered as a motorcross site.
They contacted South Kesteven District Council who loaned them the money, which will cost residents in the parish 50 pence a year each for 10 years.
He said: “I’m amazed and really, really pleased that we were able to buy it. It was unanimous that we should do all we could to protect the land.”
“This will preserve it for future generations of both parishioners and Grantham residents.”
The parish council plan to turn the whole of the site into a protected wildlife area with the help of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust. The footpaths are to be conserved and 500 trees and hedging will be planted on December 11. The quarry area is also to be fenced off to keep out motorbikes.
Pete said: “We are going to do everything we can to deter motorcyclists. As a by-product of this, hopefully there will be no more accidents. We’ve had two up there in the last year.”
The latest accident involved 17-year-old Marcus Gray, of Walton Gardens, Grantham, who was seriously injured when he fell off a motorbike in the area on October 17. He is still in a serious condition in hospital.
His family are backing the parish council’s plans.
Marcus’ grandfather Albert Williamson, of Union Street, Grantham, said: “My daughter - Marcus’ mum - is very happy at what they’re going to do because it’s going to save any other family going through what we’ve been through.
“I’m just delighted that it’s going to stop what happened to Marcus happening to anyone else.”
Mr Williamson hopes that the fencing will deter the illegal off-roaders, not just move them on.
He said: “The problem is that there is no end of spare land. If they are going to go out riding they must wear a helmet. It’s just madness riding without one.
“Until it happens to one of your own you just don’t know what it’s like. We don’t want any other family to go through that.
“What the parish council plans to do will be wonderful for the community, for the people who live up there and everyone all around.”
The parish council is trying to secure funding to pay for the fencing, signs and trees, which is estimated to cost £9,000.
Pete is applying for a grant from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN), which must be submitted by Sunday, and to be successful he has to show local support. To add your name to the support, to donate or to volunteer to help with tree planting on December 11 contact Pete on 07929321426 or firstname.lastname@example.org