Lincoln Christ's Hospital School has been involved in the creation of a major new community nature reserve off the A46 just east of Dunholme since 2009. Up to now the work has been in Monks Wood owned by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust but now there is a new area being planted immediately to the east. These four hectares (ten acres) were purchased by the Lincolnshire Co-operative in 2011 to celebrate their 150th anniversary and are also being managed by the Nettleham Woodland Trust, a charity whose Chairman is Mr Williams, our ex-Deputy Head at LCHS.
Despite three attempts to drain it, this land is unsuitable for farming and so it is now being developed to create wet woodland, an unusual feature in Lincolnshire. The lake, reed beds and swampy areas will attract birds such as marsh tits and warblers, and a range of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles and mammals over time. It will be very different from Monks Wood just the other side of the hedge, and an excellent place for LCHS students to study ecology, go orienteering and enjoy the sounds and silence of the countryside over the next hundred years.
On Wednesday a team from LCHS was the first school group to see the new 120m lake excavated in an area which was flat and grassy only three weeks ago and the last to plant any trees in the new Co-op Wood this season. The pupils led by Mrs Inman worked very hard indeed. They dug holes at places marked with canes, inserted over 100 willow, alder, birch or ash 'whips', replaced the canes and then wrapped protective guards around the young trees to protect them from rabbits, hare and deer. And then there was a picnic in the sunshine.