Petition calls for scrapping of plans to create wetlands in Grantham Park
A petition calling for the scrapping of plans for wetlands to be created in a Grantham park has attracted more than 500 signatures.
But South Kesteven District Council says claims in the petition that the wetlands will take away large parts of Queen Elizabeth Park, where people walk their dogs and go walking and jogging, are inaccurate.
A consultation on plans for the park runs until Sunday.
The petition was launched by Kevin Bohea, who lives close to the park and walks his dogs there every day.
He is concerned by the plans to turn an area of grassland well used by walkers and dog walkers into wetland.
He told the Journal: “The consultation states that they want ‘to transform the low quality, grassed habitat into a more diverse, natural habitat with the ability to support aquatic species, birds and invertebrates’. Not a description that supports how it is currently used.”
Mr Bohea says he stands by his petition, adding: “I’ve only used information provided from the BlueGreen website. The picture on my petition has been taken from their own consultation document. Maybe they should be clearer with their consultation information?
“The petition is raising awareness that the dry areas will be changed and therefore change their usability. At present the areas can openly and freely be used by all to exercise or let their dogs run free, etc, without the risk of running through wetland areas. I do not feel I have misled with my petition as it contains a link to the SKDC consultation document for anyone to refer to.
“I think that over 500 signatures on the petition shows that there is strong support for these areas of QEP to be left as they are... good, dry, open usable grassland for all to enjoy.”
The petition can be found at www.change.org/QEP-grassland
Councillor Peter Moseley, cabinet member for commercial and operations, said: “The petition incorrectly claims that large parts of the park will be converted into wetland, and contains further inaccuracies including claims about restricted access to certain areas and removal of dog walking facilities.
“SKDC, in conjunction with the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park, has identified a 2.4 acre area which would be suitable for landscaping for biodiversity improvements and increased year-round access to its 25 acres of parkland.
“Within that 2.4 acres, a series of permanent water features covering less than one acre will be connected by new raised pathways and meadow areas, which visitors will be able to use.
“To assess public opinion, SKDC is hosting a consultation to allow people to see and understand all of the information before making a considered response to what they would or would not like to see in the park.
“SKDC would encourage anyone interested in the future of this historic open space to visit www.withamsleabluegreencorridor.co.uk/Grantham-consultations to read the details and to submit a consultation response.
“This information can also be found in the Wyndham Park Visitor Centre.”