Blue Green Corridor Grantham encompasses the ten projects that have been successfully implemented in Grantham, from Dysart Park to Queen Elizabeth Park, with one project at National Trust’s Belton House. These ten projects have improved the river habitat and corridor of the River Witham and involved enhancing the current habitat, creating new habitat, and improving access to the river.
Why the River Witham?
Pre-project - a straightened section of the River Witham, confined by a hard bank, at Stonebridge Close, Grantham.
The River Witham is one of our largest watercourses in Lincolnshire, flowing from South Witham down to Boston. Historically it was modified for drainage, flood defence, milling, and irrigation, which led to straightening, hard sides and extensive deepening through dredging. We will be addressing some of these issues in our works through Grantham.
This has led to the channel becoming very uniform except for a few in-channel features, which provide a small amount of the variation needed to support the diverse range of species that would naturally.
As the Upper River Witham is overall in need of improvement, there have been various habitat improvement projects implemented along its course.
At this point, the stretch of the River Witham that runs through Grantham has had limited habitat improvement works, creating a gap in the overall regeneration of the Upper River Witham. This makes this stretch of the river, running through Grantham, perfect for joining up the wildlife corridor along the River Witham.
Map showing the projects conducted along the River Witham, highlighting the importance of regenerating the stretch of the Witham that runs through Grantham.
What the improvements have included
Throughout Grantham, along the River Witham there have been perfect opportunities to create important habitats which are scarce in the area. These important habitats have included wildflower meadow creation, wetland creation and flushing meadow creation, at Sedgwick meadows, Queen Elizabeth Park and Dysart Park respectively. These have focused on improvements to the river corridor and creating habitat with the capacity to support a wide range of interesting species, from water voles to kingfishers, and amphibians to bats!
A White Clawed Crayfish, native to the River Witham.
There have also been in-channel improvements along sections of the River Witham, reinstating natural processes in the river and creating the variation needed to support a diverse range of species.
The River Witham supports protected species such as native White Clawed Crayfish but they have limited habitat to breed and survive. These completed works, specifically the in-channel improvements, have supported the quality and quantity of habitat for these species, ensuring their success for the future.