Parkland vision for King’s Lynn landfill site wins Lottery backing

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More than £200,000 is to be spent on a project to transform a former landfill site at Lynnsport into a wooded parkland.

A Heritage Lottery Fund grant will provide nearly half of the money, with the rest coming from West Norfolk Council, the Norfolk Rivers Trust (NRT) and the Environment Agency.

Work on the project, which is also intended to encourage more wildlife to the nearby Gaywood River, is expected to start next month.

The scheme covers land close to the sites of a controversial housing development, which will see hundreds of new homes built in the area.

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said the project was a clear statement of intent to enhance the area.

He said: “There is a very big effort being made by the borough and these other agencies to really enhance the surrounding environment.”

The scheme is intended to create a parkland area and wildflower meadow with footpaths that are accessible for disabled visitors.

A series of activity sessions are planned to capitalise on public interest in the development of the area, with the first scheduled for World Rivers Day on September 24.

Information boards will also be installed explaining the importance of the Gaywood River in the development of the town, while the NRT will work with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to provide pond-dipping sessions for the public and local schools.

Alistair Beales, the borough council’s cabinet member for special projects, said: “This project will enable us to make the site more accessible to a wider range of people.

“The activities plan offers some great opportunities for the local community to learn new skills and to get to know about the area and the various wildlife species that live there.

“It is also an opportunity to come together as a community to help plant and develop this green space.”

Kye Jerom, a fisheries technical specialist for the Environment Agency, said they would work with the NRT to ensure the environment can thrive in the future.

He said: “In recent years the Gaywood river has almost been forgotten, but this ambitious restoration project will make it more accessible to people, improve the fishery, and, importantly, enhance the river as a resource for the town.”

Robin Llewellyn, head of the HLF in the East of England, added: “The natural world along the Gaywood River has a bright future for wildlife and local people, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

“From boosting the health of habitats and creating new ones, to uncovering hidden heritage for visitors of all ages, we’re delighted to support this project.”