WIVENHOE Town Council will be the first to undertake a trial on altering the way verges are managed to encourage biodiversity.

Colchester Council is supporting town and parish councils to implement these changes as part of their work under the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project.

This follows on from the changes made last year to the grass cutting regime in ten areas across the borough and 14 areas being left to naturalise, all to encourage greater biodiversity in some of our green spaces.

This approach will encourage wildflower growth and help develop the area for invertebrates and pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths.

Colchester Council will retain responsibility of the verges and open spaces they currently maintain, and town and parish councils will retain responsibility of verges and open spaces they currently maintain.

Each site will be assessed for safety and potential issues, and a one metre mowing margin will be maintained for sightlines and to show the sites are being maintained.

David King, portfolio holder for business and resources, said: “We are really passionate about doing all we can to let nature grow, to green Colchester, create new habitats for wildlife, and help bio-diversity flourish.

“The change in grass-cutting regime and reduction in glyphosate weedkiller removal we’ve already put in place really supports this and the results we have already seen in species of wildlife is fantastic

Glyn Evans, Wivenhoe councillor, said: “We’re losing wildlife, including wildflowers and insects fast so we’re letting areas grow wild during the summer to help them flourish.

“Not mowing these areas between March and September will let wild plants flower and seed, and the insects that feed on them to breed.

"In Wivenhoe we’ve long argued that nature knows best: that biodiversity will recover quickest where plants grow naturally.

"That’s why we are so excited to be leading nature’s recovery without artificial sowing of wildflowers or high-cost planting regimes.”