Frankland Fields – a popular location for dog walkers and nature lovers in South Woodham Ferrers – has been declared a Local Nature Reserve (LNR).
Proposals for the site to achieve LNR status were submitted to Natural England as part of the council’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Plan, and this status will help to protect the green space, promote biodiversity, and give nature a home.
What is a Local Nature Reserve?
LNRs benefit people and wildlife. They are places with wildlife or geological features that are of special interest locally, offering people opportunities to study or learn about nature, or simply to enjoy it. They also help to tackle climate change and declining biodiversity.
Why Frankland Fields is significant
Frankland Fields has become a LNR due to the valuable ecological contribution it provides. The space is made up of several habitats including scrub, woodland copse, wildflower meadow, reed bed and grassland which provide a home for an array of flora and fauna, as well as for carder bees.
Frankland Fields sits between two other LNRs and acts as a corridor for a range of wildlife such as birds, bats, small mammals, and other species. This ‘corridor’ links with the SSSI (site of special scientific interest) at Marsh Farm and the wider Ramsar site (a wetland site of international significance) at the River Crouch.
‘Establishing Local Nature Reserves in the heart of communities is a bold and brilliant concept, re-connecting us with wildness and giving nature vital space – a home – as part of a healthy local ecosystem.
It’s wonderful to see LNR status achieved again in South Woodham Ferrers, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our parks volunteers and coordinators who ensure that nature remains cared for and protected, here and across the Chelmsford district.’Councillor Moore, Cabinet Member for Safer and Greener Chelmsford
‘Having a natural space like this, close by to other Local Nature Reserves and internationally protected sites, helps to create corridors for nature to flourish. Importantly, Frankland Fields is close to the town centre and gives people the opportunity to access nature. It’s part of the wider work we are doing at Natural England to recover, build and connect nature, allowing it to thrive.
I have worked closely with the City Council and the community to help designate this as a Local Nature Reserve. I am delighted to have been involved in this, it’s great news for people and nature.’Graham North, Lead Advisor for Nature Recovery at Natural England
Ribbon cutting to celebrate the achievement
In celebration of the site achieving LNR status, parks staff and volunteers gathered for a ribbon cutting and speech from the Deputy Mayor of Chelmsford. Park volunteers then went about their usual business of maintaining, caring for and protecting the greenery, followed by tea and cake.
Volunteering in Chelmsford’s parks
Volunteers have been helping at Frankland Fields for more than 15 years and will continue to conserve this area so the wildlife can thrive.
People from all over Chelmsford can get together to get some fresh air, look after their local environment, and make friends in the process. More information on how to volunteer in a local Chelmsford park can be found on the Love Your Chelmsford website.
‘I’m retired and found that through volunteering in Chelmsford’s parks, you can meet so many different people. Each time you go there is someone different to get to know.’Janet, who volunteers for the parks department in Chelmsford