Greetwell Character Area lies immediately east of the built-up area of Lincoln. The Character Area encompasses agricultural land, a disused quarry and a handful of residential and farm buildings. The area is bounded to the south by the Market Rasen line of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), to the north by Wragby Road, and to the east by the Greetwell Parish boundary. Open agricultural land and small village settlements lie to the north and east of this Character Area, with the city to the west.
The land is relatively flat and slopes gently down to the Witham Valley to the south and Greetwell Quarry to the west. A number of roads run through the Character Area, these include Wragby Road and Greetwell Road, two major routes into Lincoln from the east that are generally the busiest routes in the Character Area. Hawthorn Road takes traffic from the outlying villages of Cherry Willingham and Reepham to major transport routes, and a minor road runs north-south through farmland between Greetwell Road and Hawthorn Road. Roads are aligned both parallel to and across the contours of the slope. Footpaths are minimal within the Character Area and are only present to the north-eastern edge of the quarry and running north/south between Hawthorn Road and Wragby Road. However, walkers are able to roam throughout most parts of the former quarry area.
Figure 2 – Established lane through agricultural land
The landscape is predominantly agricultural, characterised by a semi-regular pattern of sub-rectangular pattern of fields defined by shallow open drainage dykes and/or overgrown hedges that are associated with the area's drainage and enclosure during the early part of the 19th century. The hedgerows are typical of the quick set hedges used during the late 18th and early 19th century enclosure. Agricultural areas are now predominantly used as arable land or grazed pasture although there are some areas of semi-improved scrubland.
Several small drains and ponds are located within the Character Area and these support a range of aquatic and wetland species of both flora and fauna, e.g. Ivy-leaved duckweed and Nuttall’s waterweed.
The open-cast quarrying of limestone has left a permanent mark on the landscape in the west of the Character Area with the formation of high limestone cliffs that skirt a wide, relatively level, quarry floor. Parts of the quarry were mined until as recently 2003 and these areas have had little chance to develop substantial vegetation. More established vegetation is present on the cliff-tops surrounding the quarry with areas of scrub and semi-mature trees and the remnants of a 19th century enclosure field boundary with mature trees extending into the quarry area. Calcareous grasses, typical of limestone areas, have colonised parts of the valley floor. These areas are an important habitat for a number of species, notably the Bee Orchid, brown long-eared bat, and several types of butterfly.
Figure 3 - View over floor of quarry
The quarry is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the importance of the exposed geology in the cliff faces. Since the cessation of quarrying activities, much of the quarry has become a nature reserve. The quarry has been fenced, presumably to prevent entry during its working life, but much of this has now been vandalised and trampled.
Buildings within the Character Area are either residential or agricultural in use. There are only two clusters of buildings, a farmstead along Wragby Road in the north of the area, and a farm and residential buildings along Greetwell Road in the south of the area.
The buildings at the north are a collection of farm and residential buildings within a single plot. The buildings lie close to the footway immediately upon a large grass verge, with all the buildings facing into a central courtyard at the centre of a medium sized plot. The house is a detached, 2 storey, gabled building with a number of later additions. The buildings are covered in painted render and have concrete tiled roofs. The farmhouse itself is well screened from the road by the surrounding farm buildings and strategic tree planting, concealing the front of the house from view and giving the property a passive frontage.
The buildings in the south of the Character Area include a large collection of farm buildings, a pair of Modern Period [1967 – Present day] semi-detached bungalows built in the same style and a semi-detached two-storey house of the Late Victorian/Edwardian Period [1869 – 1919 AD]. The residential properties are all set parallel to Greetwell Road. The bungalows are to the centre of small plots, with a setback of 5-10m from the road. Public/private boundaries are relatively well-defined with a mixture of brick and stone walls and hedgerows. A high (1.5 – 2m) stone wall divides the rear boundary of the properties from the farmyard beyond. The bungalows are constructed of brown brick with gabled concrete tiled roofs. Projecting roof kneelers form the extent of the decoration. Doors set to the side of the properties and medium/high solid-to-void ratios give these properties a passive frontage.
Figure 4 – Collection of farm and residential buildings north of Greetwell Road in the south of the Character Area
The two-storey, Late Victorian/Edwardian, property is constructed of red brick with a slate hipped roof with contrasting ridge tiles. This appears to have originally functioned as the farmhouse of the adjacent farm. Boundaries around the property are defined by low hedging. Decoration is indistinct although the vertically aligned windows have segmental arched brick lintels. Doors are to the front of the house, but the properties still have a relatively high solid-to-void ratio due to the relatively small size of the windows. All the properties appear to have replacement uPVC windows.
The surrounding farm buildings are mostly medium to large single storey sheds located around a large farmyard. They are medium to large in size, and are constructed from a variety of materials. This includes stone and brick buildings with pantile roofs, and steel-framed buildings with a brick or steel clad shell and steel or asbestos sheeting to the roof. The buildings are functional and often have open sides to accommodate large machinery.
There is a low sense of enclosure across the Character Area formed by large open agricultural fields and a low building density. The vitality across the area is generally low, although Wragby Road and Greetwell Road are busy thoroughfares due to high levels of traffic entering the east of Lincoln. There is potential for use of the area to increase as the Nature Reserve areas within the quarry become more-established and the area develops as a local amenity.