Whisby Nature Park’s new £1m footbridge opens

A new footbridge allowing full access to Whisby Nature Park has been opened.

As previously reported, the Network Rail footbridge will allow visitors and reserve staff to safely cross a railway line, which passes through the middle of the reserve.

The original railway crossing was closed early last year due to safety concerns.

Left to right: Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust; Geoff Trinder, Chairman, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust; Cllr Mrs Marion Brighton OBE, Leader of North Kesteven District Council and member of Whisby Steering Board; Cllr Colin Davie, executive member, Lincolnshire County Council; Kenneth Mason, Network Rail; Janet Mellor, Chairperson of Whisby Park Steering Board. Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

Left to right: Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust; Geoff Trinder, Chairman, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust; Cllr Mrs Marion Brighton OBE, Leader of North Kesteven District Council and member of Whisby Steering Board; Cllr Colin Davie, executive member, Lincolnshire County Council; Kenneth Mason, Network Rail; Janet Mellor, Chairperson of Whisby Park Steering Board. Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

The new bridge cost around £1.1 million with Lincolnshire County Council contributing to the spent, mostly covered by Network Rail.

It was officially opened on March 20 by Colin Davie, Executive Councillor for Economic Development, Environment, Planning and Tourism.

Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

North Kesteven District Council Leisure and Cultural Services Manager, Mike Lock, said: “We’re pleased to be opening this bridge to the public alongside the Wildlife Trust, Network Rail and Lincolnshire County Council today.

“It already is beginning to look in keeping with the area, and will look even better once the surround oak trees start to grow.

“Most importantly though, It will make travelling across the railway tracks to the other side of the nature reserve much safer for visitors to the park.

“A huge thanks to all the partners and in Particular Network Rail for helping push this important bridge forward to become what it’s become today.”

Cllr Mrs Marion Brighton planted oak trees around the area of the new bridge to celebrate the opening. Photo NKDC

Cllr Mrs Marion Brighton planted oak trees around the area of the new bridge to celebrate the opening. Photo NKDC

Janet Mellor, chair of Whisby Nature Park Steering Board said, “The Steering Board has long recognised the need for improvements to the railway crossing for the safety of our visitors, and it is a fitting acknowledgement of the outstanding success of Whisby Nature Park that the new bridge is to be opened during the celebration of our 25th year of operation.”

Whisby Nature Park was first opened to the public in 1989, created from land which had been worked for sand and gravel extraction, and now extends to 355 acres. Around 150,000 people visit the site every year.