Community victory as Lincoln park reopens

After a two-year campaign, parents and children celebrated on Saturday, October 27, the reopening of the Wickham Gardens Community Park in uphill Lincoln.

SWINGS (Save Wickham Gardens – Children Need Green Spaces), a group of parents and local residents, wanted to preserve the Wickham Gardens Play Park as a green space for the local community after the City Council decided to stop maintaining it.

The 100-year-old green space was given to the public as a gift by the late Cannon Wickham, former Dean of Lincoln Cathedral.

The action group delivered a petition with 1,100 signatures to City Hall, which convinced councillors to keep the play area and regenerate it.

On Saturday, the Dean of Lincoln Cathedral, the right Reverend Philip Buckler and the Mayor of Lincoln, Councillor Karen Lee, marked the reopening of the park.

This initial stage of the project has been funded through the Transform Your Patch initiative from environmental regeneration charity Groundwork and soft drink producers Britvic and PepsiCo. This has involved painting the railings and carving new benches in the park.

Rob Parker, County Councillor for Lincoln West, said: “Lots of hard work by parents and local people has gone into first of all protecting this wonderful green open space and then raising funds to get the railings painted and some play equipment installed as well as well as getting agreements from various authorities. Everybody now sees the virtue of developing this site for public use.”

Castle Ward City Councillor Donald Nannestad added: “I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has been involved in this project. The residents fought a tremendous campaign to save Wickham Gardens from being sold off for housing and have now continued their work to ensure improvements are made to the park. This is a great example of how the community working with their local councillors can change things.”

Photos: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite