Grange Farm, Essex.
As a result of a new residential development, the Grange Farm Centre Trust invited Liz Lake Associates to help negotiate a Section 106 agreement to enhance an adjacent 12 hectares of public open space in their ownership. When the landscape works were implemented the Trust asked us to monitor work on site on their behalf.
Liz Lake Associates’ role was to advise on the wording and content of the Section 106 prepared by Epping Forest District Council and Essex Wildlife Trust and to help the Trust secure the most appropriate solution for a new informal public open space. A programme of initial works and a long-term management plan were prepared. We monitored the site for two years, overseeing vegetation management, scrub clearance, grassland establishment, planting and the construction of an all-weather path. In the nature conservation areas, particular objectives have been to increase the area of habitat suitable for great crested newts, and to encourage the development of species-rich grassland. Associated with two sports pitches is a new community building designed for the Trust by the Tooley Foster Partnership which includes changing facilities, a community hall and a workshop for Essex Wildlife Trust.
The developer’s team provided just the right touch for this project, which has a strong conservation bias. Following a ‘growing in’ stage the public now enjoys access to informal meadows where the management policy will benefit local nature conservation and provide a valuable resource for the local community. The football club, Colebrook Royals, uses the Pavilion and playing fields as its base and the Essex Wildlife Trust has established new opportunities across the site. The Pavilion is being used for private and community functions becoming a valuable hub for the community. The playing fields and meadows will also form a ‘green’ link that connects to Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve north of the M11 and the Three Forests Way.