Woodland ban row sparks new nature group for Rasen residents

Woodland Grove EMN-190803-115135001
Woodland Grove EMN-190803-115135001

Disgruntled residents campaigning for a fenced off wood and meadow to be reopened to the public have set up a community conservation group to encourage more people to get involved with nature.

Tim Quigley, Steve Jeeves and Mark Wilson have founded The Brambles (and friends) Community Conservation Group in Market Rasen - and already it has 60 members.

The first pond dipping event for The Brambles (and friends) Community Conservation Group. EMN-190415-162650001

The first pond dipping event for The Brambles (and friends) Community Conservation Group. EMN-190415-162650001

The Woodland Grove Estate in Market Rasen has a wood and meadow, retained to protect great crested newts, and used by some residents from 2003 until late 2014, when the developer handed over control of maintenance to residents’ organisation Woodland Grove Management Company (WGMC).

Mr Quigley claims that since 2015 members of the public have been told by WGMC they are not allowed to use the wood and meadow - and he is determined to change that.

The community conservation group held its first event at the weekend - a pond dipping experience that proved to be popular with residents.

Mr Quigley said: “The option of using the now fenced off areas is up to the individuals, we use them but the [pond dipping] event was specifically held along the dog walking lane ditch (open to anyone) to let those who dare not use them be involved.

“The aim of the group is to bring people together from the Brambles Estate and wider community who are interested in nature and conservation and get the kids excited by it.

“The reaction so far is very positive indeed, lots of residents have joined, especially those with children.

“The management company have been informed of the group and intentions and no objections have been received from them so far.

“The aim of the group is to bring people together with shared interests, young and old, and educate/get kids involved - basically how it should be and what, by the looks of things, people are crying out for.”

Mr Quigley said the group has already successfully photographed foxes, deer, voles, mice, newts, frogs and a whole variety of birds, as well as numerous interesting habitats, wild flowers, trees and plants.

The group plans to hold more pond dipping events, bug hunting days, nature trials, litter picking, habitat building, den making days, moth spotting evenings and more.

Search for the group on Facebook.

A Woodland Grove Management Company spokesman told the Rasen Mail: “In 2003 when the Woodland Grove Estate was built, the developers erected signs and fencing to restrict access to certain areas because they contain the great crested newt which is a protected species.

“Those that bought their houses from new were told that access to these areas would remain restricted.

“This encouraged many people to buy on the estate as these areas provide tranquillity and an undisturbed wildlife habitat across the estate.”