Project by Kettering sea cadets to transform overgrown piece of land

Sea cadets are working hard to transform a site which has deteriorated and become overgrown in recent years.

Thursday, 1st December 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:40 am
The site has become overgrown in recent years

Kettering sea cadets recently lost virtually all of their sailing kit after a fire at the boathouse at Wicksteed Park

Since then, they have been fundraising to replace the equipment, but they also have another project which will be coming to fruition very soon.

After more than two years of planning and liaising with various stakeholders, the group finally got the go-ahead to carry out external works on the sea cadets’ site next to the Scouts building in London Road, Kettering.

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A sketch of the plans for the site

Andy Barnwell, chairman of the Kettering sea cadets, said: “In the past four or five years, the security fencing around the sea cadet unit has deteriorated to such an extent that it has proved useless in stopping people getting onto the site.

“The group has suffered several break-ins and significant vandalism.

“As the site has become even more overgrown, there has been significant fly-tipping along with evidence of substance abuse.

“As chairman of the unit, along with the unit management committee and the commanding officer, our prime duty is the safety of the sea cadets and all those who use the unit regularly.

A sketch of the plans for the site

“I approached Kettering Council to discuss the possibility of increasing the area of our actual site so that we could fence the area properly.”

Mr Barnwell said officers from Kettering Council had been ‘first class’ with the project and work started on November 16.

It is likely to take up to four weeks to complete, and will include clearing the site of all trees and shrubs, levelling the site and putting up new security fencing around it.

The Woodland Trust has given them 105 trees under its regeneration scheme and these will be planted around the site to ensure they attract a wide variety of birds, butterflies, bees and other insects.

They are also hoping to plant snowdrops, daffodils, bluebells and other flowers for everyone to enjoy.

Mr Barnwell said: “We are extremely confident that the entire site will be absolutely transformed from a dark, dingy, dreary and potentially dangerous place into one that is clear, open, bright and full of colour year round.

“The new vistas will give far reaching views to the occupants of the London Road properties opposite the site and hopefully, particularly during these dark winter months, walkers will feel much safer as they use the various pavements and footpaths around the site.”