Access deniedWood fenced off after decades of use

A group of concerned Belton residents are campaigning to save a piece of woodland which has been used for decades by walkers and horse riders.

The Friends of Belsahw Wood - (from left) Martin O'Hara, Sheila Saxelby, Eric the gamekeeper, Clive Saxelby and local horse riders.

Part of Belshaw Wood has been fenced off by a neighbouring landowner, blocking off access to a large section of the Isle attraction.

Clive Saxelby of Northferry Road, along with fellow villagers, has now formed Friends of Belshaw Wood with the aim of officially registering the area as a green.

Village greens are areas of open space which by custom have been used by a significant number of inhabitants for the purposes of recreation and playing lawful games.

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Where land is registered as a town or village green, it is protected by long standing legislation (known as the Victorian Acts) that effectively means that the land cannot be developed.

He said: “People are really quite upset about it. It’s been used for such a long time.

“A nearby farmer remembers walking the wood some 70 years ago. It’s been in use all that time. It’s unfortunate that it’s been fenced off.”

He added: “We are planning on petitioning the Secretary of State through North Lincolnshire Council to have Belshaw Wood designated as a village green, 20 people have signed up already.

Mr Saxelby continued: “The application is going in in the next week or so.”

Belton Parish Council clerk Ray Matthews said: “This individual has acquired the land so he can do as he wants with it.

“However, the parish council is acquiring land adjoining this and there will be proper public access which will be fenced off to prevent motorcyclists and quad bikes getting in.

“The gifted land hasn’t been formerly completed yet, and then we will need to raise money for the fencing,” he added.

A spokesman for North Lincolnshire Council said: “We are investigating the situation at Belshaw Wood in Belton.”