Following a meeting of the Commons Advisory Panel (CAP) on 3 December, Long Leys Residents Association (LLRA) can report on the following:
- CAP representatives voted to remove the no cycling symbol from the proposed signage on West Common, meaning there will be no signs discouraging cycling. This position will be reviewed again in 6 months by CAP. It will remain on signage planned for South Common and Cow Paddle Common.
- The signage on dog walking will remain as originally stated: “Dog walkers to keep dogs on a lead or under close control during bird nesting season (March to August)”.
- The signage will highlight to visitors that loose horses will be grazing on the common.
LLRA had requested that the dog walking signage be amended to “Please keep dogs under close control near ground nesting birds (March to August)” but this was not supported by other CAP representatives. LLRA were advised that protecting ground nesting birds from disturbance by inquisitive dogs was the driver to adding this request to dog walkers and that Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were two species that nested on West Common. LLRA will be requesting more details on how the wider community can contribute to helping protect ground nesting birds and details on more vulnerable locations within the Common where special care should be taken. We will also explore whether guided walks could be organised with conservation specialists.
For details of signage locations see the bottom of this page.
New Seating, Adding Horse Feeding Stations & Fence Extension
Following legal advice, which highlighted the balance between public health, safety and the requirements of the Lincoln City Council Act 1985, CAP agreed the following:
- To replace seating at appropriate locations on the Commons
- To add two new horse feeding stations on Long Leys Road and on the A57 to relieve pressure on the existing Rosebery Avenue feeding station, and a new station on South Common.
- To extend the fencing by the West Parade entrance to West Common, to better separate pedestrians and horses.
This work will now be planned and LLRA hopes to give further details on implementation following the next CAP meeting in March 2019. The path between West Parade and Long Leys Road has already been nominated as a bench location. Suggestions for other locations for bench locations on West Common can be emailed to : LLRA@long-leys.org.
A request was made that any seating not be located directly next to external fencing, to prevent horses from using it as a step to exit the common.
Fallow Period For Horses
The CAP recommended a Fallow Period be applied in 2019 for West Common, along similar lines to 2018. The objective of this is to allow the sward (that’s grass to us city folk) to recover and would involve owners relocating the 56 horses currently registered on West Common, to join the 9 horses on South Common for the period 31 March 2019 to 14 May 2019. Following the 2018 fallow period “an increase in insects and birds had been noted, areas around gates had improved and grass growth was good”. It was confirmed that this move is beneficial to the wildlife of both West and South Common. South Common is currently under-grazed and will benefit from having more animals grazing it during the 6 week period.
Commons Management Plan 2018-2023
A review of the Management Plan has commenced, with a volunteer contributing significant time to updating and reformatting the current version. Draft Aims and Objectives will be circulated for wider consideration. Consultations on the revised Management Plan are intended to commence in Spring 2019, along with the required ecology surveys, with a view to signing off the Plan later in the year.
Background information on CAP
LLRA represent the Long Leys community on the Commons Advisory Panel (CAP). We send one of the fifteen representatives that attend, representing local communities and user groups on the panel. The CAP covers Lincoln’s West Common, South Common, and Cow Paddle Common (land defined by the Lincoln City Council Act 1985).
The Commons Advisory Panel’s specific objectives are:
- To Advise the City Council in the care, maintenance, protection and preservation of the Commons.
- To represent and protect the interests of all lawful users of the Commons, having in mind the well being of the commons in general.
- To take due regard to previous undertakings (including the undertaking given to the Open Spaces Society on 22nd March 1985)
Representative groups include LLRA, WERA (West End Residents Association), South Park Residents Association, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Lincoln Commons Horse Association, Carholme Golf Club and councillors local to each of the Commons.
The CAP meets at least four times per year. In addition there is a ‘tour of inspection’ of The Commons. Meetings are open to the public, however they will not be entitled to speak unless with the prior agreement of the Chair.