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New lectern opens at the Bythams Spinney

People will be able to find out about wildlife and nature thanks to a new installation at a children’s playground.

A learning lectern which tells the story of many of the wild flowers and creatures is now a feature of The Spinney, Little Bytham, also home to play equipment.

The meadow, which adjoins the woodland playspace, is a wildflower meadow that is organically managed to create an important habitat for many types of plants, animals and insects.

People take a look at the new lectern
People take a look at the new lectern

The Bythams Woodland Trust, which owns the meadow, was approached by Lizzie Squire of home-schooling group Bourne Tuition.

The group had won a prize in a national environmental competition with a solution to a very muddy problem. Their seed-spreading, soil-saving drone invention was entered into the National Farmers’ Union Climate SuperHeroes Farmvention competition in 2021 and won £1,000 to spend on outdoor learning equipment.

Working together online during the covid pandemic, the children came up with a clever idea to help solve the problem of flooding. Much of Lincolnshire is already at or below sea level and drainage ditches frequently become blocked, making flooding even worse.

The group’s prize-winning idea was to use drones to sow suitable native plant seeds along the dyke banks. The plants’ roots would then consolidate the soil, ensuring the ditches continued to function. This also reduces the need for dredging, which is expensive, time-consuming and disruptive to the wildlife living on or near these manmade watercourses.

Dr Patrick Candler, chairman of the Bythams Woodland Trust, said: “When Lizzie approached us with her offer of funding a learning lectern, we felt it was a brilliant opportunity for the public to learn more about this wonderful habitat. Since we took on the meadow and have nurtured it as an organic wildflower space, we have always wanted to tell our visitors about all the species that you can find here.”

Lizzie said: “Thank you so much for inviting me and the children from our local home-educated community to see the information board unveiled. We all thought the board looked very smart, and the information included will help visitors get even more out of their visits to Bythams Spinney.”

Work has begun on improvements to the Spinney playground at Little Bytham. The project will invest £160,000 in children’s play equipment thanks to funding applied for the Bythams Woodland Trust Charity.

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