Visiting the Lincolnshire Fens
The South Lincolnshire Fens Gateway Access Action Plan, commissioned by the South Lincolnshire Fenlands Partnership, provides a framework for promoting sustainable access for both local people and visitors to the Fenlands.
The Partnership aims to recreate 800 hectares of fenland habitats close to the existing core areas of Baston and Thurlby Fens, with Willow Tree Fen Nature Reserve as a flagship example of fenland restoration.
The Study provides a strategic approach to access and an evidence base for discussion to help maximise funding opportunities for the benefit of people and the natural environment. It proposes new cycleways and pathways which link with national routes including: National Cycle Routes, the Macmillan Way and with local networks. It encourages the development of new circular routes from towns and villages on the edge of the Fens. It is intended to inspire local communities and businesses and help in the further development of the Fenlands Partnership whilst contributing to the local economy through increased recreation and tourism. Access includes physical access for all abilities where possible and intellectual access through improved promotion, information and interpretation.
The positive effect that a healthy natural environment can have on the quality of life are widely understood and accepted by local authorities and key decision-making bodies and are backed up by an increasing body of evidence. Local and high-level policies, plans and consultation, identify access shortfalls in the wider countryside and the need to improve the access infrastructure of the South Lincolnshire Fens and to offer better attractions and facilities to both local people and visitors. Mineral workings, particularly near Baston and Langtoft, provide opportunities to develop new routes, links and attractions for recreation and biodiversity.