'Less mow, more grow': Wilding plan for village

St Remigius church, Hethersett. Photo: Bill Smith

Hethersett is looking to obtain Wildlife Status. - Credit: Bill Smith

A Norfolk village is hoping residents will be wild about a new idea.

Hethersett is looking to obtain Wildlife Status and the parish council is asking people to get behind the idea.

Council member Bridget Williamson is behind the scheme, which is designed to help protect wildlife.

She said: "The felling of hedgerows and trees means that local wildlife is being chased from pillar to post with nowhere to go. We have a responsibility to keep as much habitat for flora and fauna and wildlife as we can.

Bridget Williamson. Teachers' meeting outside the Forum in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Bridget Williamson of Hethersett Parish Council. - Credit: Bill Smith

"It’s a case of less mow more grow."

Wildlife Status would see areas in the village not used for recreation left uncut with wildflowers planted.

"The look of the village would change with the introduction of meadows. Any opportunity to re-wild should be taken," Mrs Williamson added.

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At the latest meeting of Hethersett Parish Council, fellow councillor Jonathan Loome referred to village wilding as "an amazing opportunity and a great way to bring the village together to talk about ecology".

The council has asked one of its sub committees – the Hethersett Environmental Action Group – to discuss the idea and put together an action plan.

Mrs Williamson said: "Over the last 30 years, Hethersett has seen rapid development and we are currently seeing fields and hedgerows being swallowed up on a very large scale.

Wildflowers growing on the edge of a field in the Norfolk countryside.
Picture: James Bass

Wildflowers growing on the edge of a field in the Norfolk countryside. - Credit: James Bass

"Wildflower meadows were once present in every parish in the country, yet meadows and grassland now cover just 1pc of the UK. Over 97pc of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s.

"It is vital to try to redress the balance between nature and human habitation and we should see every open space as an opportunity for wildlife.

"While clearly acknowledging the need to retain open space for human need, we should actively seek out ways of retaining areas where the grass is not cut in the spring or summer, and wildflowers are sown or planted.

"I believe we have a duty to adopt wildlife status for the village of Hethersett and do all that we can to support the ecosystem that is essential to our very existence."

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