Re-wilding

Re-wilding is about creating the conditions for nature to develop and thrive by re-establishing natural processes to provide a sustainable future for biodiversity. For the Parish, this will mean how we manage the roadside verges, grasslands and meadows, hedgerows, woodlands, ponds and other wetland areas within the numerous parks and open spaces found within the parish boundary.

Wildflower areas require a minimum of a single cut every year, with all the cuttings being removed from site in order to decrease the fertility of the soil and the vigour of the grasses in order to promote wildflower species.

We also undertake various other work as required to further enhance wildlife habitats which may include cutting back overgrown vegetation, clearance of water courses and pond margins, coppicing, and the provision of deadwood habitat stacks. We may also amend our routine maintenance regimes in order to enhance re-wilding areas.

Some of the re-wilding areas have already shown good natural re-generation of wildflower species with several species of orchids found.

Orchid in Bloom
Orchid in Bloom
Orchid in Bloom

Rewilding Areas

Within the Parish there are 12 re-wilding areas which have been identified with a timber post along with the Parish Council logo and the re-wilding Bee sign shown above to acknowledge that the area is being pro-actively managed and maintained by the Parish Council for biodiversity.

The Parish has identified a number of grassland areas and verges that have the potential to develop into wildflower areas. These areas have been taken out of routine maintenance and managed for biodiversity with an annual grass cut and clear regime carried out in late summer. These areas are:

Buckhurst Fields
Pipers Way
Croft Woods Meadows
Ripon Way (Queens Drive)
GWR Park
Sandringham Road Open Space
Marlborough Lane
Savernake St Recreation Ground
Marlborough Road/Scotby Avenue
Shaftesbury Avenue
Lowry Way (Marlborough Park)
Shrivenham Road (Magic Roundabout)
  • These sites are chosen to create a network of areas forming “green corridors” for wildlife across the Parish linking local open spaces with larger areas of green space to the wider countryside beyond.

    In addition to the above re-wilding areas, there are several other public open spaces within the Parish boundary which are managed and maintained for biodiversity which also contribute to “green corridors” and rewilding. These areas are:

    • Coate Water Country Park – Site of Special Scientific Interest & Local Nature Reserve
    • Old Town Railway Path & Canal – Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest
    • Radnor Street Cemetery & Local Nature Reserve
    • Rushey Platt Local Nature Reserve
    • The Quarries Local Nature Reserve
    • The Lawn & Bruddel Wood
    • Great Copse & Croft Wood
    • East Wichel Escarpment 

Criteria for Considering New Rewilding Areas

Re-wilding sites require active management and maintenance by Parish Council staff and volunteers otherwise they will quickly become over-run with pernicious vegetation such as brambles – a balance of vegetation types will provide the best habitat for biodiversity.

Requests for future re-wilding initiatives may come from local residents, Councillors or Officers. Any such requests shall be considered based on the assessment criteria you can find here.

If you would like to register an interest in a new rewilding site that you believe fits the criteria, please email the Parish at office@southswindon-pc.gov.uk.

If you need some help please call us on 01793 317410 or e-mail admin@southswindon-pc.gov.uk