‘The possibilities are really endless’

Mercer Wood, Gainsborough G110315-7
Mercer Wood, Gainsborough G110315-7

A NEW group has been set up to launch a community project that would rejuvenate a large area of woodland in Gainsborough.

The Mercer Wood Group held their first meeting to discuss how to apply for funding for different bodies in order to turn the land around and fulfill ideas like a community garden, adventure play area and an innovative new forest school.

The group met at North County Primary School where they discussed the problems the area had with fly-tipping and how to make it a worthwhile place for the whole community to enjoy.

Chairperson and West Lindsey District Councillor Gillian Bardsley said: “The object of the group shall be to manage and improve that area for the benefit of the local area and the associated wildlife.”

She continued: “We must now explore funding, and how West Lindsey District Council will be helping with the clean up of hazardous substances caused by fly-tipping. The probation service have expressed an interest in helping with the clean up and we also need to get the community as a whole to respect the space.”

Committee member and North County Primary headteacher Julie James had some ambitious ideas for the woods.

“I suggest a forest school,” she said. “They started 20 years ago in Denmark and get children out in the open. It’s all about teaching children how to learn in the outdoors environment and primary and secondary school pupils can still learn their normal curriculum but in a different context relevant to the woods and it really gets children interested in education.”

She added: “The facilities would also have lots of use for after school and community groups such as the Scouts and army cadets. The possibilities are endless.”

Mayor Tim Davies said: “We need to make people aware that it’s an absolutely fantastic space that they can really get involved with an enjoy.”

A police spokesman was also present to say that they would lend their support to the project if it “engaged young people in positive activities.”

The group intend to neogitiate a lease on the woods to be held by the town council from Thonock and Somerby Estates once it has been put before the council following the election.

For information or to get involved in the project you can contact Coun Gillian Bardsley on 01427 753788 or cllr.bardsley@west-lindsey.gov.uk.