Reconnecting Grantham to its historic landscape

Project
Bellmount Tower, Belton House, Lincolnshire

The National Trust and the Woodland Trust, supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund are working together to reconnect Grantham to its historic landscape.

Thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’ll be able to improve access to Bellmount and Londonthorpe Woods for the benefit of both the people of Grantham and wildlife.

Reconnecting woodland

Londonthorpe Woods once formed part of the seventeenth century Brownlow Estate, but over time this historic landscape has become fragmented. Working in partnership with the Woodland Trust, we aim to reconnect this historic landscape, plant more trees and improve access between the two sites. The people of Grantham will be free to explore these special sites and discover the wildlife and inspirational stories of their shared heritage.

Conservation of heritage

The project will involve conservation work to improve wildlife habitats across both sites. The wildflower meadow at Londonthorpe wood has been reinvigorated, and the veteran trees on Belton's East Avenue have been surveyed. The trees will receive specialist surgery to prolong their lives, and a small tree nursery will bring on cloned trees to fill in the gaps of the avenue.

Archaeological surveys have been carried out on key built heritage features. The studies have assessed the remains of the Machine Gun Corps camp at Bellmount, the RAF Regiment station at Alma Park and Bellmount Tower. Conservation work will begin as soon as possible.

Volunteering

A joint volunteering program is an important part of the project. There will be opportunities to learn new skills and contribute to the activities and management of the project area and make a real difference to the future of this historic landscape.

Events

In September 2021 we hosted 5 walks as part of our contribution to Heritage Open Days. The Grantham Dramatic Society took on the roles of Lord Brownlow, Vesta Tilley and more, to bring our local history to life on a guided walk led from Belton House, up the Eastern Avenue, and into Bellmount Tower. We also hosted a military history walk through Alma Park and Wood, discovering the hidden secrets of the sites contribution to the World War efforts.

To keep up to date with our guided walks and events in 2022, join our 'Reconnecting Grantham' Facebook group.

Travel and access

We've looked at ways to get people to, around and from the site in an environmentally friendly way, while being as accessible to as many user groups as possible. 

Visitors will have noticed the Londonthorpe Woods car park was closed for improvements, along with the development of an access track and cycle route leading to Alma Park industrial estate. The new car park is now open, and changes you’ll notice are improved access points, disabled parking and bicycle stands.

Health and wellbeing

Visiting and spending time in woods contributes towards health and wellbeing. As well as providing environmental and biodiversity benefits, woods and trees help reduce the negative impacts of our changing climate, promote healthy lifestyles and help to alleviate a range of debilitating illnesses. This project will encourage local people to reap the health benefits of all this green space!

Funded by Active Lincolnshire and NHS LPFT, we are now hosting mental health wellbeing support walks from Harrowby Lane Surgery into Alma Woods.

Consultation

We'd like to thank you for letting us know what you think of Londonthorpe and Bellmount! We've considered what you've said and what local people would like to see at the site and how we can open the landscape to more users.

Our hope is that this amazing landscape will become a much-loved community resource that has real benefits to the lives of local people. 

We welcome comments, questions or suggestions. Please contact us at LondonthorpeBellmount@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

Latest updates

01 Jun 22

Mobile phone photography course

Our thanks to Nicholas Brocklebank from Bhive in Grantham, for running a brilliant photography course using mobile phones. Staff and volunteers were given all sorts of tips and tricks to take fab photos with our phones.

Photo of Alma Woods taken on a phone

23 May 22

Tree nursery is looking great!

The East Avenue of veteran lime and horse chestnut trees has over 250 gaps. We've started a small nursery to grow replacement trees. Our thanks to the volunteers who care for them. They should be ready to plant out in winter 2024.

The tree nursery at Belton

20 May 22

Five Gates return to Five Gates Lane

Five Gates Lane was named for the five field gates that once crossed the original farm road. We've placed five gateway features where the original gates once stood. Our hope is that they will give passers by a renewed sense of the value of this wonderful landscape.

A photo of the gates on Five Gates Lane