Community and Connectivity at Wildfell
At Wildfell, Ground Control’s 296-acre nature-recovery laboratory, we are collaborating with a diverse group of partners to test land management practices that boost biodiversity, increase habitat diversity, and increase nature recovery network connectivity.
Working with Partners
We have worked wherever possible with experienced partners and stakeholders to ensure we are incorporating the most innovative ideas and practice in nature recovery and with an eye to the future stewardship of connected landscapes. For example, working with Plant Life, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and the Bumblebee Conversation Trust we are delivering our vision by putting plants, fungi and pollinators at the heart of the Wildfell project.
We’re thrilled to be collaborating with partners including, Essex County Council, Essex Wildlife trust, RSPB, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Plantlife, Dragonfly Trust, Farming & Wildlife Action Group East, Environment Agency, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, The Forestry Commission, The Big Green Internet, CSX Carbon, Briggs Equipment.
Nature Recovery in Action
By working to improve better linkages between habitats, and into the wider nature recovery network, we are contributing to the Environment Act 2021’s Local Nature Recovery Strategies goal of increasing green infrastructure connectivity.
For example, we have designed our woodlands, scrub and hedgerow regeneration and creation plans to link up existing isolated pockets and connect into the wider Essex network. Through a collaboration with The Big Green Internet, we are establishing a ‘green connection’ into this innovative project to connect woodlands across Essex through a network of hedgerows and wildlife corridors. Our first connection point will be between Wildfell and a pilot project in Great Maplestead approximately six miles away.
Linking new and existing habitats to create a connected network of green infrastructure will make the whole more resilient and better promote the recovery of nature.
Connecting People with Wildfell
We are encouraging people to enjoy and connect with nature. Our new paths unlock previously ‘out of bounds’ areas of the Wildfell estate to walkers, our woodlands have been opened to forest schools and community groups, and we’ve created new links into existing Public Rights of Way.
Sharing knowledge through signage along the routes and at new habitat creation areas (where suitable), will allow people to understand the role and function of the habitat in the wider landscape.
Working with residents of Weathersfield village and community groups we have co-designed a new Community Orchard, with a range of approx. 500 fruit and nut trees proposed and will plant a species rich grass land to act as a buffer to new woodland for neighboring residents.