Open spaces across Colchester left to thrive as ‘wilding’ scheme takes off

Open spaces across Colchester identified by the Borough Council have been selected as part of a wider ‘Greening Colchester’ initiative.

Grass cutting schedules in ten areas have been altered to encourage greater biodiversity – from once every 3 weeks to once at the end of the growing season – said to be around mid-autumn.

As part of the Woodland & Diversity Project, a further 14 areas have been left to naturalise to encourage wildflower growth and develop areas for invertebrates such as bees, butterflies and moths.

Cllr Paul Dundas, Leader Colchester Borough Council (Conservative) said, “As Conservatives we support the development of the Woodland & Diversity Project including changes to the entire grass cutting & wilding strategy.

“Following what we hope to be successful trials, our intention will be to furthermore empower local Ward Councillors to influence which additional areas are cut and which areas are left for ‘wilding’ in their own areas and all will be asked to compile lists.”

Changes to the grass cutting programme will be monitored by Council officials and are using this wilding pilot to test and learn what works for each area.

If successful following a later evaluation, it is hoped the scheme can be scaled and replicated to other areas in the borough.

A full list of sites and areas is available on the Borough Council website.