Villagers are trying to prevent motorcyclists and drivers from using a rural lane after the county council ruled it could be open to all traffic.
A petition containing 190 signatures of residents of Sudbrook and Ancaster was presented to Sally Ironmonger, of Lincolnshire County Council, in protest at the decision to open Heath Lane to all traffic. The petition was handed over by district councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown, who lives in Sudbrook and represents the Witham Valley ward, and county councillor Ray Wootten, who represents the Ermine ward.
In a letter to the county council legal department Coun Kaberry-Brown said: “Heath Lane is a much loved and very rare corner of the Lincolnshire English countryside, frequented by all manner of wildlife including weasels and stoats, as well as more common rabbits, shrews and foxes. It is therefore a haven for wild birds, including recently found nesting skylarks, swallows, house martens, wild partridge, pheasants, buzzards, owls and of course bats (which are protected) and quite recently a red kite has been seen. This wildlife would be totally endangered if you allowed all traffic to use this lane.”
In her letter Coun Kaberry-Brown said the lane was used daily by some 40 dog owners, and at weekends by horse riders, many of them children, as a bridleway, for which “it was originally intended”.
Chris Miller, countryside access manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “A member of the public submitted an application to record Heath Lane as a byway open to all traffic. He provided historical evidence to support his claim, and so we made a modification order to change the Definitive Map, which is the legal record of public rights of way.
“We received objections to this order, and as a result we are obliged to refer the case to the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She will then decide whether there needs to be a public inquiry, or whether the case can be heard by written representation alone.”