As the revised Whittons Park playpark will be opening in coming weeks, this post is an update for those wishing to walk the off-road route from St. Georges to Whittons Park.
The park is accessible, in dry weather, using the footpath at the end of Mercer Drive (1). This leads across Albion Crescent and towards Newt Hollow. Just as the footpath bends uphill to the left, take the path to the right (2) along land owned by City of Lincoln Council and then across Newt Hollow (3) which is owned by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The path then turns to the right and then left, crossing the Hobblers Hole public open space (4) owned by City of Lincoln Council. See map below.
The path is not in the best of condition, so can be somewhat muddy in wet weather and the winter, so boots can be advisable. It can be a good adventure for younger children.
Future Path Improvements
LLRA would ideally like this route to be suitable in all seasons and weathers, so children and parents with buggies can use it, without the need for walking gear.
In 2021 LLRA secured a 10-year Management Agreement on the Hobblers Hole section of the path (4). Subject to LLRA providing funding, the city council will potentially permit LLRA to improve this to a permeable “limestone chippings” type path.
We recently learnt that the request to secure footpath status for the path across Newt Hollow (3) has been rejected (See DMMO 401 for details). LLRA’s thanks go to our longest standing committee member, Tony Wass, for his 4-year effort to try and achieve this.
As a result, LLRA will switch to plan B. This is to request a “community woodland” type agreement with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, the Newt Hollow landowner. The agreement could cover improving the path, giving the existing Newt Hollow pond needed attention, and restoring a former wildflower meadow. Work would be undertaken by Long Leys volunteers. Subject to achieving this agreement, LLRA would seek permission from other landowners and LCC, to improve other parts of the route (1, 2).
Hobblers Hole Update
After some good work by volunteers late last year, the Hobblers Hole pond is now attracting amphibians, with clear signs of frogspawn (see picture below). Can we ask those with dogs (and sometimes children!) to keep them out of the pond area, to avoid disturbances.
For those wondering why a 5-metre section of vegetation to the left of the footpath running alongside Whittons Park has been cut, this is to allow the playpark contractor to move landscaping materials and equipment further up Whittons Park, without creating further deep ruts across the park.