New look for Horseshoe Hollow after rail works

Richard Smith and Coun Mike Sutterby at the completion of Horseshoe Hollow
Richard Smith and Coun Mike Sutterby at the completion of Horseshoe Hollow

A joint venture to transform a piece of open land in Ruskington into a local nature reserve has reached completion.

Network Rail has been working with Ruskington Parish Council as part of an environmental improvement scheme to make-over Horseshoe Hollow.

Two new ponds have been created to attract invertebrates, frogs and toads - with a dipping platform constructed to allow school children to study their local wildlife under adult supervision.

A horseshoe-shaped feature has also been planted with a variety of bulbs so that flowers will be visible all year round and a new park bench installed. Drainage modifications have been made allowing water to flow back into the stream after flooding.

The project was part of an agreement to give back to local communities to ease the disruption of Network Rail’s huge £280m Great Northern Great Eastern (GNGE) project, which passes through Ruskington, and transformed the 84-mile ‘Joint Line’ between Peterborough, Lincoln, and Doncaster.

Chairman of Ruskington Parish Council’s Environmental Committee Coun Mike Sutterby and the director of Network Rail’s GNGE Project Richard Smith shook hands as the project was finished

Coun Sutterby said: “What started out from the disruption of the upgrades to the railway has kick-started a movement. It has actually done us a favour and the area has really been enhanced.

“We have issued information to the local schools about the area for them to use for their nature studies et cetera and will continue to enhance it for future use. There is nowhere else like this in the village, nothing of this nature. It is a pleasant area, with the trees, the wildlife and birds and we will continue to protect it. It is for the benefit of the village.

“We are trying to increase its visibility and provide access for people with disabilities and young mums with pushchairs.”

Horseshoe Hollow was awarded an ‘Excellent’ score under the CEEQUAL scheme for civil engineering environmental quality assurance as one of the GNGE environmental legacy schemes.