Improvements to make Owlet Wood more welcoming to all

Owlet Wood, which is now a hoot to visit for wheelchair-users, thanks to WREN funding.
Owlet Wood, which is now a hoot to visit for wheelchair-users, thanks to WREN funding.

A wood, near Gainsborough, is to be made more welcoming and accessible for wheelchair-users and families with pushchairs thanks to a hefty grant.

The Woodland Trust, which manages Owlet Wood, has been awarded more than £32,000 to create an easy-access trail and make other improvements at the 50-acre site.

Site manager Paul Jarczewski said: “Owlet Wood is well used by walkers and people with dogs. But it has the potential to offer so much more, so we consulted local people and organisations, who indicated a desire for it to be used by more diverse groups.

“More than 126,000 people live within four miles of the wood, and we know a lot of organisations are keen to use it for their members.

“However, the poor-quality pathway, lack of signage and access for users with buggies and wheelchairs are limiting its use.

“Therefore, this funding is wonderful. It will enable us to make the site much more accessible, inspiring everyone to connect with nature in this healthy outdoor space. Owlet is teeming with wildlife, so it’s great that more people will be able to experience it.”

The money has come from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd), a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from tax credits donated by waste operator FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

As well as the access trail, a pond, which is currently hidden from view, is to be opened up and a seat and two bird-viewing screens are to be installed.

Bird-feeding stations are to be put up in front of the screens to provide an ideal spot for wildlife enthusiasts to observe birds without being disturbed. Existing gates, fencing and signs will be replaced, while information boards will give visitors details of the wood and its history. The work should be completed by mid-July.

Cheryl Raynor, of WREN, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting such a worthwhile project and look forward to it benefiting the local community.”

Since it was established in 1997, WREN has provided more than £200 million to more than 7,000 community and environmental projects throughout the UK.