Gusto Site Manager, Sam Smith, presented his £500 cheque donation to Cherry Fields.
The Fields were purchased to provide green space for the village by Cherry Willingham Parish Council some 4 years ago. The facility has been of considerable benefit to villagers and others in the local area especially during the pandemic lockdown. Users include walkers, dog walkers and families wanting a safe place for children to play and ride bikes. It provides a place to observe nature and a place for picnics. It is also designed to promote wildlife and is home to an increasing range of creatures as the site matures.
So far over 5000 trees have been planted by village volunteers; surfaced walks have been created within the trees. A 670m bike track with humps and berms has been built among the trees Two areas where dogs can be off lead including a dog agility area have been created. Two picnic areas with benches have been established. A path and bridge have been built giving access to the bank of the River Witham and the Viking Way footpath. A number of ponds have been excavated. A car park has been built and is opened daily to allow safe access for those not in easy walking distance. The maintenance and enhancements are carried out by volunteer labour. Capital items such as benches and materials are funded from a parish council budget and grants from various charities, village organisations and individuals. We have plans to plant a further 5000 trees and plant native species wildflowers in expanded wildflower meadow areas. We also plan to add extra “fun” places for children to play and enhance the bike track with additional features. The site has had considerable use, especially, during the lockdown, so a constant rolling programme of resurfacing and other maintenance is required.
We anticipate that we will use the funds to provide items that would otherwise remain on the future plans list. Specifically, this will enable us to acquire bulbs and wildflowers to plant under the woodland canopy this autumn and create an adventure trail for children in a currently wild area of fallen trees and undergrowth.