Hartsholme Country Park 17
Grid Ref: SK940690     
Status:     Site of Nature Conservation Importance (Lincolnshire Trust)
Registered Historic Park Grade II

Hartsholme Country Park is a 34ha site with a very varied mix of habitats on the western side of the city, linked to Swanholme Lakes local nature reserve. The site has been designated as Critical Natural Asset for the following reasons:

1 ) This site contains the largest area of open acid grassland in the city (approx. 7ha), together with small areas of lichen Cladonia sp. and dry Calluna sp. heath (approx. 0.8ha); this total of 7.8ha represents 26% of the total heathland and acid grassland resource in Lincoln contained in 5 sites. The site is one of 9 sites with substantial areas of woodland in the city, containing 17ha or approx. 14% of Lincoln's woodland.  Hartsholme Country Park is one of 13 sites in Lincoln with wetland habitats:  the main lake covers 9ha, and accounts for 11% of Lincoln's wetland habitat. Combined with Swanholme Lakes, with which it is linked, the site is the largest area of green space in urban Lincoln, covering 126.3ha.

2) The site supports an area of Sphagnum bog, the only site in the city with this habitat type. Sphagnum is a declining habitat in Lincolnshire due to drainage, peat extraction and afforestation. More recently succession of hot summers and dry winters have resulted in much of this habitat type being lost to desiccation and scrub encroachment.                                              
3) The site supports the following rare and endangered species:
KingfisherAlcedo atthis
See Swanholme Lakes for description.           
Skylark    Alauda arvensis       
See Birchwood Community Park for description.
Great crested newt  Triturus cristatus
See Greetwell Hollow and Quarry for description.

4)  The site supports 55 breeding bird species, including some most uncommon in an urban environment, such as jay, nightingale, grasshopper warbler, lesser whitethroat, green woodpecker, cuckoo, woodcock and treecreeper.

Landscape Value
Formerly the landscaped ground of Hartsholme Hall established in 1862 and improved by succeeding owners. The house and estate were purchased by the City Council in 1951 since when the park has become open to the public for informal recreation. The landscape is of high visual quality and comprises a lake surrounded by open parkland/grassland and woodland (the latter containing a rich variety of both indigenous and exotic species). Designated as a country park in 1974. Important also as a major component of the West Lincoln Green Wedge. Frontage trees are important to the character of Skellingthorpe Road, a main approach road to the City. Land between the access track to Black Bridge Lodge and Hartsholme Estate currently being developed as a wild flower meadow and in effect has become an informal extension to the Country Park and is included in its management regime.