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Calls to expand biodiverse Grow Zones across Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 12:14 17 July 2020

Dozens of people have lobbied councillors to increase the amount of Grow Zones across the borough. Picture: Wild Wanstead

Dozens of people have lobbied councillors to increase the amount of Grow Zones across the borough. Picture: Wild Wanstead

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Dozens of people have lobbied Redbridge Council to expand its Grow Zones and increase the borough’s biodiversity.

For the last two years, Wild Wanstead has been working with Redbridge Council and other land owners to create a network of wild areas – so called Grow Zones. Picture: Wild WansteadFor the last two years, Wild Wanstead has been working with Redbridge Council and other land owners to create a network of wild areas – so called Grow Zones. Picture: Wild Wanstead

A letter writing campaign organised by the initiative Wild Wanstead, which has been pushing for more spaces to be allowed to grow naturally, had 37 people campaigning to expand the initiative.

Areas in the Grow Zones are only mown once a year in late summer or early autumn to allow the grass and wildflowers to grow.

The latest grow zone is in an area near the Redbridge Roundabout managed by Thames Water.

The current grow zones are all in the Wanstead area and there have been calls to expand the project to other parts of the borough, as the initiative is a cheap and easy way to create a habitat for insects, birds and other creatures.

Dozens of people have lobbied councillors to increase the amount of Grow Zones across the borough. Picture: Wild WansteadDozens of people have lobbied councillors to increase the amount of Grow Zones across the borough. Picture: Wild Wanstead

Council leader Jas Athwal said he is “keen to expand on these existing wild sites and make sure Redbridge is a haven for wildlife”.

“Grow zones have worked well so far with the support of resident groups, and we are looking to expand this work.

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“Local people can play a part by leaving a section of their garden wild and increasing planting in their driveways.”

Cllr Paul Donovan, who has been pushing for the expansion of the initiative, said now is right time to expand the project while we are coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “Clearly the greater engagement with the natural world has increased the appetite of the public for more wilding of green spaces - we must respond to that call.”

A spokesperson from Wild Wanstead said the “amazing response” to the letter writing campaign put pressure on the council to act.

“More and more residents are using their front and back gardens to help wildlife by planting trees and flowers and greening up driveways and patios.

“The council could make a massive contribution by mowing grassy areas in a way that encourages wildflowers and helps nature as their default approach.”

If you’d like to find out more about the Grow Zones project, please contact The Nature Conservation Ranger Team at nature.conservation@visionrcl.org.uk or call 020 85592316.

To find out more about the Grow Zones visit https://www.wildwanstead.org/grow-zones


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