Owned by North Kesteven District Council, The Nettles is a small natural area on the southern bank of the River Slea opposite Lollycocks Field. Historically this was an uncultivated parcel of land predominantly inhabited by nettles. Its redevelopment began as early as 1998 when ArtsNK and other partners planted what is now possibly the longest willow sculpture screen in the county in addition to a family of steel sculpture figurines, large oak frames supporting a windblown sycamore tree and a planted hazel copse. Today the site remains a creative green space managed by an ArtsNK led volunteer group in partnership with Hill Holt Wood. The aim of its management is to provide public access to an outside exhibition and workshop space for sculpture, craft and design projects as well as other temporary and permanent art installations. This is combined with managing the site for nature by retaining distinct nettle beds; a food plant for many butterfly caterpillars, sympathetic mowing of the grassland allowing wildflowers to flourish and additional planting of nectar rich shrubs and fruit trees of East Midland provenance. The living willow screen itself a haven for nesting birds, is pruned, weaved and sculptured each winter with the offcuts often used in other onsite projects.
Led by a Hill Holt Wood Ranger the Nettles volunteer group meets on the second Monday of each month taking part in seasonal maintenance tasks that include grass cutting, wildflower planting, litter picking, tree pruning, hazel coppicing and living willow sculpturing. The group works alongside a member of ArtsNK offering opportunities to learn and develop a range of other creative skills.
The Nettles near Hussey Close, Sleaford, NG34 7HL. Parking Cogglesford Mill Car Park NG34 7EQ (Charges Apply), Eastgate Car Park NG34 7DT (Charges Apply). Interested in volunteering? Please contact