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Peaceful haven in Grantham marks 40th anniversary

A Grantham park has celebrated its 40th anniversary this month, offering a peaceful haven for residents and visitors and exciting plans for the future.

Queen Elizabeth Park is former grazing land bought by South Kesteven District Council in 1979 and transformed into a ‘country park’ in Grantham’s riverside necklace of public open spaces.

In 1980, the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother prompted the perfect name for Grantham’s newest park, with schoolchildren planting 80 trees which have matured to add their own character.

The River Witham runs through Queen Elizabeth Park. (43233920)
The River Witham runs through Queen Elizabeth Park. (43233920)

That day also spawned a tree planting legacy. Forty years on, Nita Anderton, one of those 80 children and now a teacher herself, brought her own pupils to plant trees in the nearby Wyndham Park Heroes Commemorative Orchard in March this year.

Paddy Perry, who attended the 1980 ceremony as Mayor of Grantham, also planted a tree in the Heroes Orchard to remember his father’s military service.

The park’s 25 acres stretch from Harrowby Mill to Belton Lane, with a fascinating history. The earliest mention of a mill in Harrowby is in the Domesday Book of 1086, when the whole manor was valued at 10 shillings. The mill was demolished in around 1967.

It’s also a park with a great future thanks to a three-year £1.29m ecological Blue Green Corridor Project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, to improve river habitat and establish a new wetland habitat with raised banks, creating areas of meadowland.

Councillor Peter Moseley, SKDC cabinet member for commercial and operations, said: “Our parks are so important to people, and we take huge pride in how they are managed and seeing how much enjoyment and pleasure they provide.

“Recent months have shown just how much outdoor space and fresh air matters and Queen Elizabeth Park is that rare environment where you can feel as if you are in the countryside, within an easy walk of the town centre and just a beautiful place to spend time.”

Visitors today enjoy extensive woodland areas and open spaces , a fishing lake, a playground and a commemorative Diamond Grove, planted in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Much is owed to the Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park, all volunteers who help with river care, tree planting, events and activities. New volunteers are always welcome. To find out more go to www.queenelizabethparkgrantham.co.uk or send an email to foqep2018@gmail.com

For information on the Blue Green Corridor Project – Grantham, visit www.withamsleabluegreencorridor.co.uk

Events to mark the 40th anniversary of the park have had to be put on hold because of the pandemic but are planned for next year.

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