GROW ZONES - THE GOOD NEWS & THE BAD NEWS
Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Following a campaign by Wild Wanstead, 38 residents and biodiversity groups wrote to the council this summer asking for the Grow Zones project to be expanded in Wanstead and beyond. So did it work?
Well, yes and no. Grow Zones are areas where the grass is left to grow long over summer and naturalise with wildflowers – a much better habitat for wildlife than regularly mown grass. Since the project began in 2019, areas have been designated on Christchurch green and in other parks in Wanstead, and several road verge sites have been included, including four this summer . Find out more at wildwanstead.org.
The good news is that Vision – who run the parks in Wanstead – have done an amazing job trying to nurture these new wild areas, including bulb and wildflower planting this autumn to create a small new GZ on the High Street side of Christchurch Green. We’re also pleased to report that, following the letter writing campaign, the Council has agreed to expand the total area of road verges in the borough that are left to grow wild from 10,000 square metres (including the four Wanstead Grow Zones) to 20,000 square metres. The bad news is that the expansion will not include any new sites in Wanstead – Wild Wanstead had lobbied for the addition of St Mary’s Avenue to the list as an important green corridor between Wanstead Park and George Green, but it was turned down. The bottom of The Drive, heading from Snaresbrook up to South Woodford will be reinstated (it was an approved site in 2019), but the other new Grow Zones will all be located in other parts of the borough.
Great news that wild areas will be created in other parts of Redbridge, but obviously very disappointing that Wanstead wasn’t selected for even one new site despite the efforts of so many residents and local groups.