Group’s £50k lotto bid to make Thornhill park wild

GREAT OUTDOORS Tim Duke in Rectory Park.
GREAT OUTDOORS Tim Duke in Rectory Park.

A £50,000 lottery grant could be used to promote the wildlife and biodiversity of a historic park.

The Friends of Rectory Park are applying for the cash to encourage more people to get their hands dirty in the area.

Chairman Tim Duke said the historic park is teeming with rare trees, plants and birds.

He said: “The park has a vast array of ecology and biodiversity that people just don’t know about.

“There are 42 different species of birds in the park and a beetle that is only found in Rectory Park in this area. This isn’t just a vast expanse of green – we want to show people what a little gem it is.”

If the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is successful, the Friends plan to carry out an 18 month project that will look at how to protect the natural environment and encourage its growth. The group also invited local schools to join the project. Pupils from each school will have their own area of the park and will observe how it changes over the four seasons.

“The park is underused and probably a bit undervalued,” Mr Duke said.

“The best way to change that is to get people in their getting their hands dirty and finding out for themselves what is there.”

The cash could also fund a pond-dipping platform in the moat, information panels at points of interest and further planting of wild flowers.

Bird and bat boxes are already being installed by volunteers who support the group.