A NEW eco-friendly initiative which will see Essex roadsides left to re-wild is set to be trialled in Halstead.

Essex County Council have unveiled a new conservation plan to help wildlife and the environment by leaving the grass and flowers on Essex roadsides to grow, only being cut once a year.

The Braintree district is one of the first areas in the county where this new initiative will be trialled.

Parishes where the trial will take place include, Halstead, Braintree and Bocking, Earls Colne, Colne Engaine, Gosfield, Greenstead Green and White Colne among others.

The council's say the safety of the roads will also be maintained with sightlines being monitored and limited cuts to take place if necessary in critical safety areas.

The plans are a joint initiative between Essex County Council and Braintree Council.

Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, Kevin Bentley said: “I’m delighted to support this plan to add to the existing “special verges” where wildlife protection takes priority and I certainly support extending it to other areas if it is successful.

"This is part of many ecological initiatives being coordinated by the County Council.”

The plans come following the Braintree Bypass roadside beautification project last year.

Wendy Schmitt, the Braintree councillor responsible for environment and place said “I am delighted this trial is taking place I have campaigned for a number of years for better protection of rural verges, supported by Braintree District Council, as these are important havens for wildlife with many common and rare species of wildflowers, insects and animals.

"Reducing grass verge cutting from twice yearly to a single cut in the Autumn will allow flowers to grow, and seed before grass cutting takes place.

"It is more important than ever to consider how we can give nature a ‘helping hand’ by protecting and preserving our natural environment for this and future generations.”