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Council apologises after saplings and flowers mown down by contractor in Grantham park

The district council has apologised after a contractor strimmed newly planted trees and wildflowers planted by volunteers in Wyndham Park.

The volunteers, members of a biodiversity group, have been planting trees with the help of South Kesteven District Council and the Woodland Trust, but they say all their hard work has been undone.

The group had planted 700 trees in locations around the park, including the forest school area and top field, but it says that on at least six occasions contractors have ‘strimmed out’ tree whips or mown off wildflowers.

The top field at Wyndham Park. (46681250)
The top field at Wyndham Park. (46681250)

The group says an old double hedge had been put back or patched up, an area of scrub planted and a double row of hazel planted along Sandon Road, plus a silver birch glade.

The biodiversity group says it has met with the council and its contractors, who have assured them “time and time again” that the areas planted will not be part of the mowing contract. The group says last week an entire hedgerow of hazel was strimmed out.

Anne Gayfer, of the group, said: “We feel really lucky that the council has allowed us to plant up this area and the response from other park and forest school users has been overwhelmingly positive. People stop and take the time to tell us how important they think this project is and how they look forward to living long enough to see the results. In particular, our silver birch glade attracted much anticipation.

“Over several cuttings, we’ve now lost all of the silver birches, their replacements, some of the areas of scrub and other trees, plus the hazel hedge. It’s hard to find areas we can return to scrub.

“We have spent hours planting these trees and I’m deeply disappointed that, once again, we find a tree that took some time to grow and plant has been strimmed off in a microsecond.

“It makes me feel very despondent, but for the sake of wildlife, I will carry on with this

A spokesman for SKDC said: “Volunteers play a vital role in the maintenance and management of Grantham’s World War One memorial park and their dedication and hard work has contributed to the park achieving the prestigious Green Flag award for nine consecutive years.

“The contractors working on behalf of SKDC have acknowledged their mistakes and met volunteers to apologise in person. They have also pledged to put right the damage caused and given an assurance that further steps have been taken to ensure there is no repeat.”

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