The team behind the proposals for the Wolds Cycle Park says that the project will bring huge benefits to the local area.
Louth resident Kevin Smith – who runs Focus Bikes which will operate the site near South Willingham – believes that the park will not only promote a healthy and active lifestyle but also provide economic and environmental improvements to the area.
Kevin said: “For several years, I have been looking to create a cycle park in Lincolnshire.
Even though there are many passionate off-road cyclists across the county, there isn’t a single purpose-built facility to cater for them within Lincolnshire’s borders.
“The Lincolnshire Wolds are the perfect spot for this kind of project, and we are very fortunate to have found an ideal location on the Hainton Estate.
“The site provides excellent undulation and is easy for cyclists to use but is also well screened from public highways and byways with minimal visual impact on the surrounding area.
“This cycle park will give people of all ages and abilities the chance to access an area of the Wolds that is currently unavailable to the public, allowing them to engage in a healthy, low impact sport and quietly enjoy the natural beauty of our county.”
Cllr Patricia Bradwell OBE, deputy leader of Lincolnshire County Council, believes that the health benefits of the park are a significant positive.
Cllr Bradwell said: “The Wolds Cycle Park will provide a safe environment for adults and families to get outdoors on their cycles.
We have seen during the pandemic more people taking up cycling and the cycle park will offer the opportunity to safely continue these activities.
“The Wolds are a fantastic destination for visitors from across Lincolnshire and beyond, so having a location and activity that people can really enjoy is a great addition.”
Once fully open, the park will provide rural employment for between 10 and 20 people, with significant economic benefits for other businesses in the area with associated spending at shops, holiday accommodation, local restaurants and pubs.
The proposals for the project are currently being pulled together by Louth-based Lincs Design Consultancy (LDC), which specialises in planning and landscape services.
Daniel Sharp, director at LDC, said: “The critical design element of the park is that it creates a net gain for both the local ecosystem and its biodiversity.
The trail itself will be incredibly low-impact – all features will be constructed with soil from the site and dressed with fine limestone, so they are less impactful on the environment than a farm track, for example.
“The carbon footprint of the build will be offset by the planting of grasses and wildflowers on the site, with the highly-efficient visitor centre building sitting sympathetically within the landscape whilst being both practical and user friendly.
“Overall, the park will sit hidden in the fold of the Wolds, with its whole ethos centred around an approach that is low impact and sympathetic to its environment.”
The proposals for the park are set to be submitted to East Lindsey District Council in the coming weeks.