Bid made to recognise rural North Lincolnshire’s outstanding natural beauty

Planning and Environment
10:51, Tuesday, 28th July 2020

A move to have parts of North Lincolnshire recognised for its outstanding natural beauty has been made by North Lincolnshire Council.

A submission to Natural England to extend the boundary of the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) across the area will be made in the coming days.

The proposed variation is to have the existing boundary extended to include Kirton-in-Lindsey on the southern border of North Lincolnshire. The delineation would then travel north through to the banks of the River Trent taking in Normanby, Burton-upon-Stather and Alkborough.

It would then extend east taking in Barton-upon-Humber and across to New Holland before sweeping back around picking up Ulceby, Kirmington and parts of Brigg.

Designating areas of the region as AONB will:

  • Make a significant contribution to enhancing the wellbeing of the population, enabling people to connect with exceptionally high quality natural capital
  • Protect and enhance the quality of the landscape – something that is the result of the positive custodianship of generations of people
  • Ensure future development is managed appropriately
  • Contribute significantly to the economic development of North Lincolnshire and the wider region, recognising and reinforcing the quality of place in North Lincolnshire.

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said:

“We know the area is strikingly beautiful but we now want it to be officially recognised for being so.

“From the Ancholme Valley to the North Lincolnshire Wolds through to the Humber Estuary and the wetlands in and around Alkborough, there are a whole host of places which are outstanding in their beauty.

“A variation of the boundary will be instrumental in achieving all of our priorities to keep people safe and well, enable our communities to flourish and support economic growth.

“The formal request to vary the northern boundary of the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is just the beginning of the process and there is a lot more to do but we have the backing and support of lots of people and many key organisations.”

The bid to vary the northern boundary of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB has been backed by Natural England, CPRE – the countryside charity, parish councils, Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service and Joint Advisory Committee, the National Farmers Union (NFU), Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Historic England, Greater Lincolnshire Local Economic Partnership (GLLEP) and West Lindsey District Council.

The three local MPs have also added their weight to campaign. Holly Mumby-Croft MP (Scunthorpe), Martin Vickers MP (North East Lincolnshire) and Andrew Percy MP (Brigg and Goole) are all strong advocates of bringing North Lincolnshire into the boundary.

Cllr David Rose, cabinet member for the environment, said:

“We have carried out extensive work to evidence that our landscape in North Lincolnshire, to the north of the existing Wolds boundary, meets the natural beauty criteria.

“The information identifies a specific area within North Lincolnshire that we believe should benefit from the designation of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“We have a strong track record of protecting our landscapes and connecting people with them and we are in an exceptional position to conserve and enhance an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North Lincolnshire.”

North Lincolnshire’s naturally formed landscapes date back to the last ice age, formed as the glaciers first carved out their southern paths before the retreat left a rich and fertile land which has since been conscientiously stewarded by humans for millennia.

The landscape boasts a vibrant mix of habitat ranging from estuary, river, farmland, woodland and urban to create an eclectic blend of flora and fauna unique to the region.

This rich history actually covers the period of time from at least 155 million year ago, as the fossils of a Pliosaur show, through the Neolithic Stone Age, Iron Age settlements, the Roman Empire, Medieval Britain, the Industrial Revolution and more recently the engineering masterpiece that is the Humber Bridge.

North Lincolnshire’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty includes:

  • The sweeping landscape of the Ancholme Valley – a living account of more than a millennium of human history
  • The Wooded Scarp of North Lincolnshire – complete with the six Doomsday Book-recorded Low Villages of South Ferriby, Horkstow, Saxby All Saints, Bonby and Worlaby, which, when considered with nearby Elsham, boast 44 listed buildings in six villages within only seven miles
  • The breath-taking and inspirational North Lincolnshire Wolds – a landscape forged 10,000 years ago in the last ice age, which, with open skies and long views, create a natural haven of tranquillity
  • The scheduled monuments of Thornton Abbey and Goxhill Hall – the former’s fortified gatehouse recognised as among the finest in England
  • The North Lincolnshire Edge – a Jurassic-era formed physical geography which supports a flourishing plant life which itself provides a habitat for many rare species
  • The Humber Estuary – the location where the 50 mile stretch of the Lincolnshire Wolds emerge gloriously from beneath the water of the river to the natural metronome of the incoming and outgoing tides
  • The internationally recognised conservation areas in and around Alkborough which support innumerable habitats and breeding grounds through to the earliest example of a turf maze – which is believed to be around 800 years old.