Proposals to rewild Allestree Park have been given the green light by Derby City Council.

Proposals to rewild Allestree Park have been given the green light by Derby City Council.

Proposals to rewild Allestree Park were given the green light by Derby City Council at a council meeting last night. 

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to work with Derby City council and University of Derby to make the park better for people and wildlife. A consultation will now take place with the community to develop the plans for what will be the first large-scale urban rewilding project in the UK. 

Rewilding Allestree Park will bring the city wide-ranging benefits according to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Nature’s recovery in Derby will be supported by providing more space for wildlife-rich habitats and potential species reintroductions. It will also help the Council meet its carbon reduction targets by increasing Derby’s carbon storage capacity. Rewilding also gives Derby a “Natural Health Service” providing more opportunities for residents to improve their wellbeing by connecting with nature-rich greenspace. 

Councillor Jerry Pearce, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetpride and Public Spaces said: 

“With COP26 on everyone’s minds, this is a key moment for Derby to be playing its part in tackling the effects of climate change. The next stage will be to consult with our communities so everyone can have their say in how we take these plans forward.” 

Dr Jo Smith, CEO of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said; 

“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. This initiative will create one of the largest urban rewilding sites in the UK and 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. This is a huge moment for Derby and one we’re very proud to be a part of.” 

Professor Alastair Driver, director at Rewilding Britain said;

"We are very excited that Derby City Council have taken the plunge to be the first local authority in England to embark on a major urban rewilding project in the ideal location at Allestree Park. They are bold pioneers who we confidently predict will inspire many others to follow suit at a critical time for our natural world.” 

Subject to the proposed consultation, steps to sensitively rewild Allestree Park could include the creation of new habitats such as woodlands, grasslands, wetland and scrubland, the creation of community orchards and community growing and looking at reintroducing key species, such as water vole and harvest mouse. 

Derby City Council Cabinet approved the proposal at a meeting on 10 November. You can read the proposal to Cabinet here.