New structures will be built on Lincoln’s commons to improve visits for those walking through.
In a Commons Advisory Panel meeting last night, Monday 3, it was decided that benches and horse feeding stations will be added to both South and West Common on health and safety grounds.
Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager at the City of Lincoln Council, said: “the Commons Advisory Panel agreed that in the interests of both health and safety and access for less able bodied people, that it was appropriate to build new feeding stations for horses and to install some new benches”. This is a slightly contentious decision because the Act says that new encroachments should not be erected on common land.
There have recently been reports to the Commons Advisory Panel because there are limited entrances to the areas. Horses tend to gather around the entrances, expecting to be fed. This means other members of the public are having to use the trampled land. Caroline Bird said: “people that are not keen on horses or have small children, for example, sometimes finding that they are being crowded by horses and there are concerns for some people that it could lead to a health a safety risk”.
Benches will also be a new addition to the commons to encourage more elderly people to use the areas. This aims to improve the health of the older population through increased fresh air and exercise. Caroline Bird said: “We’re really keen that people have the opportunity to enjoy our common land. They’re big areas of land and we’re really proud to have such big areas of open space in our city. There’s something to be treasured”. Currently, if you’re not particularly good on your feet, if you’re disabled or elderly, then visits to the commons can be made more difficult because there are very limited opportunities to sit down and have a rest.
Toby Forbes-Turner lives near West Common and regularly jogs through the area. He said: “if helps avoid the risk of any future issues then it’s a good idea”.
Now that the City of Lincoln Council has received the go-ahead, they’ll shortly be getting some quotes and putting the plans into action. The feeding stations should arrive in the next couple of months and the benches not long after.