Wilder Together in the Stour Valley

Wilder Together is a partnership project that has been created between the Suffolk and Essex Wildlife Trusts, RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden and the Dedham Vale National Landscape and Stour Valley team.

The partnership has been established to support parish and town councils to work with their communities to create wildlife friendly villages and towns in the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley. 

This working together in partnership for wildlife will create more space for nature, as a network of wild areas will be restored, reconnected and maintained by residents, on both public and private land (including gardens), which will not only benefit wildlife but people too.

Next Event

Our next Wilder Together in the Stour Valley is taking place on Tuesday 9th July 2024 from 6:30-8:30pm. Join us at at RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden to learn what community projects, parish and town councils can do for wildlife.

We will look at the examples in the garden to get inspiration and talk about projects other parishes have engaged with. Find out more.

If you missed it, you can watch our successful webinar on ‘How to connect to your community for wildlife’ on our YouTube channel.

Wilder Together Objectives

  • We want to help establish a network of Wilder Together villages and towns throughout the Stour Valley in Essex and Suffolk
  • We want to see a WILDER Dedham Vale and Stour Valley where nature is welcomed and supported on the doorstep
  • We want where people live to be their gateway to the natural world
  • We want to support local people to take action for wildlife to restore, reconnect and maintain wild corners, wild spaces, wild streets and gardens
  • We want to train volunteers in your parish to become wilder village champions who will promote wildlife gardening and support local action.

What you get

  • An opportunity for councillors and local wildlife groups in your parish/town to attend a tour of RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden to see what things can be replicated in your area
  • A resource list which will help your parish or group undertake wildlife projects
  • A statement and logo to put on your parish website to say your village is part of the Wilder Together in the Stour Valley project and so is committed to take action for wildlife
  • A contacts list for partners
  • Advice on habitat management and creation from one of the conservation partners
  • Opportunities to go on training events e.g., how to set up a group, hedge planting
  • Access to funding and help on suitable practical conservation tasks from the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley conservation volunteers.

Councillor event at RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden

Dedham Vale Youth Rangers at the Boxted Birds, Bees and Bugs event

Examples of Community Wildlife Projects

Explore the online map to see examples of what parishes, wildlife groups and residents have done for wildlife in their villages or towns in the Stour Valley.

To add information onto this map about your community wildlife projects please email daniellec@essexwt.org.uk 50-100 words and a landscape photo. It'll be great to see what everyone is doing for nature. 

To find out how other groups across Suffolk are helping wildlife and to add your community group action visit the Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Team Wilder map. The resource toolkit for community groups can also be accessed online.

To find out how parish and town councils are taking action for wildlife across Essex visit the Essex Wildlife Trust website. Other Team Wilder projects can be found online.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in joining our network of Wilder Together villages or towns in the Stour Valley, please contact one of the partners:

Dedham Vale National Landscape and Stour Valley

Emma Black, Countryside Projects Officer

Email: emma.black@suffolkandessex-NL.org.uk

Mobile: 07855 756785

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Cathy Smith, Community Wildlife Advisor

Email: cathy.smith@suffolkwildlifetrust.org

Mobile: 07780 457072

Office: 01473 890089

Essex Wildlife Trust

Danielle Carbott, Wilder Communities Manager

Email: daniellec@essexwt.org.uk

Mobile: 07938 485322

RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden

Amy Ward, Visitor Experience Officer

Email: amy.ward@rspb.org.uk

Mobile: 07903 500111

Councillor tour at RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden

Volunteers managing grassland for wildflowers at Hornestreet Field Nature Reserve, Langham