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£7,000 Lottery grant will help Long Bennington council create nature reserve out of a meadow

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A council has received a grant of £7,000 to create an attractive and wildlife-friendly meadow.

Long Bennington Parish Council is celebrating after being awarded the National lottery funding to support its work in enhancing and developing Witham Meadow as a nature reserve in the village. The parish council will use the money to provide a green space as a refuge for wildlife and access to nature for people of all ages.

Situated on the west bank of the River Witham, Witham Meadow is a small nature reserve held in trust for the enjoyment of the public.

Witham Meadow in Long Bennington. (53337581)
Witham Meadow in Long Bennington. (53337581)

The new funding from the National Lottery will allow the parish council and volunteers to develop the site for local groups including the village school and nurseries to have better use of the meadow. Equipment to study the natural environment, new seating and better pathways will ensure that access is easy for people of all abilities to study and reflect in a peaceful haven.

Martin Wright, chairperson of the council, said: “We are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund has chosen to support our work in this way. Now, thanks to the National Lottery players, we will be able to press on with our plans to develop Witham Meadow for all to enjoy and broaden the amenities available in our beautiful village.”

The meadow was once part of productive agricultural land, some of which is still in use on the opposite bank. The site is an old floodplain meadow that surrounded the Bennington Mill to supply grain, hay and grazing, contributing to the wealth of the rural community.

Areas like Witham Meadow have been central to the village way of life for hundreds of years and today the ground is still rich in grass species and wildlife with loam and clay soils, fertile from naturally high groundwater.

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