Protecting the environment

Find out how we're protecting the Essex coast and our green infrastructure strategy

Wildlife and biodiversity

Biodiversity is the variety of plants and animals that exist. Essex has many valuable and rare habitats for plants and animals. These include coastal saltmarshes, mudflats, wetlands, ancient woodlands and veteran trees.

We aim to protect our diverse plant and animal life for future generations to enjoy. It’s our duty to manage and maintain wildlife where we own the land, or our activities affect it.

We work with ecologists, partners and experts to meet our statutory obligations. We’re involved in several schemes to protect and enhance biodiversity in Essex.

Local Wildlife Sites

Local Wildlife Sites are areas of land recognised as being important to conserve wildlife. They’re selected based on the habitats they contain and the distinctive and rare species living there.

Visit the Essex Wildlife Trust’s Local Wildlife Sites section to see what’s being done to protect the county’s 1,600 local wildlife sites.

See the Essex Wildlife Trust’s Local Wildlife Site finder to find information on a Local Wildlife Site.

Here you can:

  • get advice on how to find funding to manage your site
  • find out how to apply to have land recognised as a Local Wildlife Site

Special Verges

Special Roadside Verges provide an important habitat for wildflowers and other native species in Essex. This includes species that are under threat elsewhere. More than 100 sites around the county are classed as Special Roadside Verges. They’re marked with posts displaying a white plaque to highlight that the area is protected.

The Special Roadside Verges have cutting programmes tailored to the species living there. It’s critical not to cut the rare flowers until they have set seed. This can create a challenge with the need to maintain the safety of the verges.

We work with partners – including Essex Highways, Place Services, Essex Wildlife Trust and Saffron Walden Museum – to look after the Special Roadside Verges. We make sure they're well managed and continue to support a wide range of species.

Visit Essex Highways' Grass and vegetation section for more details about grass verge cutting.

For more information, please contact Place Services using the details below.

Place Services

Place Services provides integrated environmental assessment, planning, design and management services. Its Natural Environment team gives ecology, tree, environmental stewardship and landscape advice, as well as running a legacy grazing project and a woodlands project.


Contact the Place Services Natural Environment Team