Latest urban rewilding project set to be UK’s largest

Allestree Park (Derby) is set to become the UK largest urban rewinding project with its 320 acre area.

Maud Webster
26th November 2021
Credits: @theroamingpicturetaker via Flickr
There’s grand plans descending on one of Derby’s former golf courses, Allestree Park - the 320 acre area which will soon be home to habitats including woodlands, grasslands, wetland, scrubland, and community orchards in an effort to encourage urban rewilding.

Urban rewilding also often includes the reintroduction of species to an area; at Allestree Park, organisers intend the water vole and harvest mouse alongside other creatures to be incrementally ‘added in’ to the ecosystem. This is a process becoming more popular in the UK, whereby large green spaces are “returned” to historical ecosystems lost through the process of urbanisation and similar geographical changes.  

We are delighted that Derby City Council are leading the way in implementing solutions to the climate and nature crisis at such a significant time for our planet

Dr Jo Smith, CEO of Derby Wildlife Trust

Some are skeptical about the impact rewilding projects such as the proposals for Allestree Park have - arguing urban environments are already irreversibly altered. However, the CEO of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Dr Jo Smith, disagrees, commenting "we are delighted that Derby City Council are leading the way in implementing solutions to the climate and nature crisis at such a significant time for our planet." Smith adds the project will "enable nature to do what it does best - lock up carbon, slow the flow of water, improve air quality and provide an amazing wild place where both people and wildlife can thrive".

If rewilding takes your fancy and you’d be interested in getting involved more locally, check out Climate North East Action’s work on rewilding in the North East. When working on a project reintroducing pollinating species into Business Parks in Sunderland, Sharon Lashley, CNEA’s  Managing Director said “the implications of losing this variety of pollinating insects will disrupt the web of life that supports us so it’s vital that we take action now and rewild outdoor areas to introduce safe havens for them.”

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AUTHOR: Maud Webster
she/they | third year architecture & urban planning student @ newcastle | co-head of culture for the 21/22 academic year

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