Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project takes root

PUBLISHED: 18 December 2020

Date issued: 18 December 2020

Planting for the second year of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project starts In January 2021, with ten public planting events scheduled to take place, including the planting of a new Community Orchard at Colchester Cemetery.

Launched by Colchester Borough Council in 2019, the project plans to plant 200,000 trees over the next few years. But the project is about lots more than just planting trees, which is why the council have widened to focus on biodiversity. The project not only strives to make the borough greener but aims to manage green spaces without harming existing habitats, enhance environments to create more space for nature to grow and thrive, and to encourage communities to love and care for the environment.

To further support the Councils ‘green’ work this year they have already reduced their grass-cutting regime in areas across the borough, to help wildflowers and insect life including butterflies and bees, committed to the reduction of Glyphosate-based weed killer, and encouraged residents and organisations to take part in seed- gathering activity and grow their own trees for the future.

In addition to the ten public planting events listed below, we will also be planting this year at Highwoods Country Park (1310 trees) and Cymbeline Meadows (670 trees). An estimated 10,000 trees will be planted, all kindly donated by the Woodland Trust.

Public planting events:

Riverside Walk Saturday 9 January 200 trees
Spring Lane Park Saturday 16 January 2021
Wednesday 20 January 2021
2000 trees
Bergholt Road Open Space Saturday 23 January 2021 1000 trees
Community Orchard, next to Colchester Cemetery extension facing Valentinus Crescent Wednesday 27 January 2021 30 fruit trees
Lexden Recreation Ground Wednesday 3 February 2021 1000 trees
Greenstead Slopes Open Space Wednesday 10 February 2021
Saturday 13 February 2021
2000 trees
Pondfield Open Space Saturday 20 February 2021
Wednesday 24 February 2021
2000 trees

These public planting events are now open for the public to sign up to come along and help plant. To ensure they can safely hold planting events and comply with social distancing rules, the Council will require anyone wanting to come along and help plant to register and book a time slot via the website. Once registered people will be contacted with information about the day, and everything they need to know to come along and get planting.

Cllr David King, Portfolio Holder for Businesses and Resources, said: Trees and woodlands are a vital part of our eco-system. We are committed to preserving them, helping them to flourish and planting thousands more each year.  We will do so sensitive to location and landscape, listening to residents as we go, and focusing also on wider biodiversity, from wildflowers to the needs of insects. All parts of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project.

“We will make our borough even greener, and we will help our community to know, love and use our green spaces, while being aware and benefitting from the environmental, health and well-being benefits they bring.

“We want businesses, residents, community groups and schools to get involved in every aspect of the project, including joining us as we plant trees across the borough. Our hope is to build a voluntary network to help plant and maintain the trees for a greener future.”

Cllr Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste and Environment, added: “The Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project is a fundamental part of our pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030. The work that has already taken place in the first year of the project is just fantastic and expanding our work to focus on helping biodiversity to flourish alongside tree planting is vitally important.

“I am delighted that we are able to continue to involve the public in our tree planting activity this year. Getting active to not only enjoy our green spaces, but to help them develop and grow, is great for our mental health and wellbeing, and in these challenging times that has never been more important.”

To keep up to date with the project and register for one of the planting sessions visit

Page last reviewed: 18 December 2020


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