Little Bytham’s Spinney Project celebrates 10th anniversary

Preview for 10th anniversary celebrations at The Spinney, Little Bytham. From left, Bythams Woodland Trust trustees Gavin Pye and Simon Garbutt with chairman Patrick Chandler.'Photo: MSMP030913-024ow
Preview for 10th anniversary celebrations at The Spinney, Little Bytham. From left, Bythams Woodland Trust trustees Gavin Pye and Simon Garbutt with chairman Patrick Chandler.'Photo: MSMP030913-024ow
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A community project which created a woodland play area for children is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

More than £200,000 and thousands of volunteering hours have been ploughed into The Spinney Project at Little Bytham.

The result is a 6.5 acre site with play equipment, a fire pit, sensory garden, orchard and plenty of space for families 
to explore the great outdoors.

On September 14, the volunteers will host a party to celebrate the work they have achieved during the last 10 years.

Chairman of The Bythams Woodland Trust, Patrick Candler, said: “As traditional outdoor play opportunities become increasingly rare, 
few people of any age can resist the urge to clamber on a tree trunk, build a den from fallen branches or jump on a rope swing.

“The Spinney attracts visitors from all over the area and we want the anniversary to be a great party for all those who come to play on the site - adults and children.”

Work started at the former brickyard in 2003.

Funding from parish councils, the Castle Bytham Fair Committee, Bythams Music and the lottery has enabled the team to install seesaws, swings, a wooden playhouse, zip wire, climbing frame, slide and treetop lookout.

There is also space to hold barbecues and campfires.

Mr Candler said: “The site is well-used by local families, brownies, the Bythams Primary School and Duke of Edinburgh groups.

“We have seen a huge increase in the number of visitors in the last 12 months.”

The volunteers visit the site every other weekend to carry out maintenance work including coppicing, emptying the bins, mowing and spreading bark 
chippings.

On Saturday, September 14, they will host a special fun day to celebrate their achievements. It will be funded by a £2,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Special attractions include live music, crafts, face painting, den building, stalls, a barbecue, bar and performances from local schoolchildren.

Mr Candler said: “Last year’s community day was attended by a record 400 people and this year’s anniversary celebrations look set to attract many more.

“It promises to be another unforgettable afternoon for adventurers and naturalists alike.”

The event runs from 2pm to 6pm.

Admission and parking is free but donations to the project can be made at www.charitygiving.co.uk/bythamswoodland.