Welcome to Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is a Country Park spread across roughly 25 acres – one of three very different parks within Grantham, that are connected by the River Witham. It is the most northerly of the three parks and stretches from Harrowby Mill in the north to Belton Lane in the south, with just over half a mile of riverside walk to wander along.
There are extensive woodland areas, a fishing lake, a small playground with a zip line, a commemorative Diamond Grove (planted to celebrate HM Diamond Jubilee in 2012) and a vast expanse of open space.
The park was named for Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, in honour of her 80th birthday in 1980. To mark the occasion 80 trees were planted by school children - and most of them have survived the last 40 years.
The park is a favourite with dog walkers, joggers and cyclists with Sustrans Route 15 running along the riverside path and continuing into Wyndham Park.
A Brief History
Queen Elizabeth Park
The area the park occupies was once privately owned grazing land. Known as Lords Meadow, it marked the boundary between the Parish of Little Gonerby cum Manthorpe and the Parish of Harrowby. The earliest mention of a mill in Harrowby is in the Domesday Book of 1086, when the whole manor was valued at ten shillings. The mill was demolished circa 1967.
South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) purchased the land in 1979 with the intention of creating a public park. The Fishing Pond was constructed in 1994 and is a member’s only fishing pond for the Grantham Angling Association (GAA). To contact the GAA please visit www.granthamaa.org.uk
Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, during 2019/2020 the park’s old litter bins, benches and fishing platforms were replaced. Path improvement works took place, and new picnic benches and interpretation panels were introduced.
QEP Wetland Project
The works at QEP have provided an ideal opportunity for the Blue Green Project to dove tail into current and intended works and projects already being undertaken in conjunction with SKDC, the Lincs River Trust, the Lincolnshire Wildlife trust and the Friends of QEP, whose input was invaluable in developing the concept for creation of three complimentary wetland systems.
These wetland systems have transformed the low quality, grassed habitat into a more diverse, natural habitat with the ability to support aquatic species, birds and invertebrates.
The works involved the creation of specific environments, three groundwater fed pools, which allow particular floral species to flourish in, benefiting the native fauna in the area. An exhaustive list of birds and mammals that may benefit
especially from the wetland can be provided but some examples include:
Kingfishers, Hobby, Reed Warbler and Snipe along with protected species
Daubenton’s Bat and Water Vole.
The new wetland pools take up roughly
1% of the park’s 25-acre site and the project team is confident that the final
result leaves sufficient green space for park users to continue to enjoy the
park as they have traditionally been able to.
in conjunction with the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and the
Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park, worked hard to identify an area suitable for
landscaping for biodiversity improvements with the least public impact.
Locations of the wetland systems in Queen Elizabeth Park
Additionally, the complimentary in-channel works will help Biodiversity Action Plan species* like Brown Trout that benefit from increased marginal vegetation, which provides food and refuge opportunities as well as the addition of gravel for spawning.
As well as the huge ecological benefits, the rejuvenation of the area will provide aesthetic benefits and interesting leisure walks for the community. Planting is planned around the wetland pools as well as wildflower seeding, with a nearby wildflower meadow set to establish by next spring.
*Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species are species identified as the most
threatened and therefore having the highest need for conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). To learn more about BAP species and the UK BAP visit https://jncc.gov.uk/our-work/uk-bap-priority-species/
The project was completed in June 2023 by contractor Clixbys Forestry Ltd and a maintenance schedule detailing the activities, location and frequency of
maintenance was provided. This included an outline of annual and regular monitoring and maintenance
Clixbys have scheduled four visits following completion of the works over a 12-month
period to monitor and ensure that the habitats are establishing as expected.
Watch this space as we see how this exciting new habitat continues to develop!
A comprehensive public consultation was carried out on the original proposals between 10 May 2021 and 6 June 2021.
There were 482 responses and the consultation was carried out through the use of:
- Letters to local residents (living adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Park)
- Posters in Queen Elizabeth Park and along the Riverside Walk
- Press Release to local media to raise awareness
- Social Media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Display in Wyndham Park Visitors Centre
- Information about the consultation on both the Witham/ Slea Blue Green Corridor Project website and SKDC’s website
The responses were analysed with the overall Blue Green project drawing overwhelming support. In some cases plans were altered as a result of feedback received. For example the wetland proposals were reduced and the ponds were made smaller and moved further away from the river as requested by the public. Furthermore, a press statement was issued regarding a petition that had circulated which was opposed to the wetland project. The press statement was to the effect that there was a clear misunderstanding leading to inaccurate suggestions that large parts of the park will be converted into wetland. Similar inaccurate claims related to restricted access to certain areas and removal of dog walking facilities.
The following groups were also consulted on regarding the QEP wetland plans:
- Environment Agency – Supportive
- Queen Elizabeth Park Users Group – Supportive
- Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust – Supportive
- Wild Trout Trust – Supportive
- Lincolnshire Rivers Trust – Supportive
- Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership – Supportive
- Witham Catchment Partnership – Supportive
Volunteer Opportunities, Community Involvement and Events
SKDC and The Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park welcome new volunteers. If you have some spare time and would like to put something back into the local community, we want to hear from you. Throughout the year we will be running events and activities in the park.
The park’s dedicated website www.queenelizabethparkgrantham.co.uk provides further information.
To contact the Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For all project realted enquiries please contact Project Manager Alice Atkins at Alice.Atkins@southkesteven.gov.uk.
This page will be updated regularly as the projects develop. For more information about wetland creation and their benefits click here.