Love Your Chelmsford: April newsletter
Food challenge, new rose at Oaklands, Earth Day and more.

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Food challenge, new rose at Oaklands, Earth Day and more.
Love Your Chelmsford, April 2024
A video thumbnail with the words '5 for 5 food challenge'. [
5 for 5 food challenge
The *5 for 5 Food Challenge* is your chance to showcase your culinary skills while embracing sustainability.
Residents of Chelmsford are invited to participate in this exciting competition. Create a delicious meal for one person using *sustainable, seasonal, and local ingredients*, all for under £5.
Get ready to unleash your inner chef, compete for monthly prizes, and join us in promoting affordable, sustainable cooking.
*Take on the challenge* [
A video thumbnail showing a walk through nature. [
Take a (virtual) walk through nature
With spring coming into bloom, now is the perfect time to step into the warm air and explore the nature around us.
Mark Smith, of our Love Your Chelmsford team, *documented his walks around Chelmsford's green spaces* for a full year, and put together for you a collection of his most interesting finds. Admire the sights, see if you recognise anywhere, and get inspired to do your own wandering.
"Nature is calming.
I believe that when we interact with nature, we gain a greater appreciation for the natural world. I find walking amongst nature does wonders for my health and wellbeing too. This journey was filmed sparingly across four seasons in various woodlands, waterways, and green spaces in the Chelmsford District.
Here is a sample of what I found."
If you'd like a place to start, consider *joining a Heart and Sole Walk [
]* with the Community Sport and Wellbeing team. They have a range of regular walks for you to choose from, varying intensity and running across the district.
*Watch the full video* [
A grass walkway between trees with Parks volunteers in the distance. In the foreground is a digging fork and gravestone.
Helping nature spring into spring
Last month, the changing seasons saw our Parks staff and volunteers helping nature in different ways:
* Gorse was cut back to *restore the heather* in a special lowland health site found in Galleywood Common. In summer the volunteers should see this flower, rewarding them for undertaking this during the cold and rainy start to this year.
* A *mini beast hotel* is the latest addition to Compass Gardens, South Woodham Ferrers, providing shelter for the invertebrates inhabiting the wildflower meadow nearby. They also gave *tree aftercare* to trees planted back in December, adding woodchip to keep in moisture for the upcoming warmer months.
* [Pictured] And volunteers usually helping at Hylands Estate took great care of disused burial grounds at Rectory Lane, undertaking an *ecology check* and *clearing overgrowth from the gravestones*. These included Commonwealth War Graves, where these volunteers also spotted primrose finally in bloom.
Also: Have you spotted the new *pollinator garden* in Central Park? Spring's blooms are bringing it into colour, which will bring all kinds of wildlife to it. Our Parks team have been adding a new seating area, too, for you to enjoy it from.
A young rose plant being planted by Parks gardeners at Oaklands Park.
Rose planted to mark 100 years of Inner Wheel
The rose garden at *Oaklands Park* has a new addition, thanks to a kind donation from Inner Wheel to mark their centenary: 100 years of the club.
Members of Inner Wheel's District 24, which covers Chelmsford, visited Oaklands Park last week as our gardeners planted this young rose. The *Margarette Golding rose* has been launched by The Harkness Rose Company to commemorate Inner Wheel's founder, Margarette Golding. Once it's in bloom we look forward to its bright yellow colour.
Alongside having a dedicated rose garden, Oaklands Park also holds Green Flag and Green Heritage status.* Learn more about this green space. [
Earth Day: Planet vs Plastics
On *22 April* the whole world will celebrate Earth Day, an annual event since 1970. Each Earth Day has a theme, and this year's is *Planet vs. Plastics* - aiming for a *60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040*.
Plastic pollution is something we all contribute to, and this commitment is to reduce its impact on the planet's health with the ultimate goal of building a plastic free society for future generations. This is by:
* Promoting widespread public awareness of the damage done by plastic to human, animal, and all biodiversity’s health and demanding more research be conducted on its health implications, including the release of any and all information regarding its effects to the public;
* Rapidly phasing out all single use plastics by 2030 and achieving this phase out commitment in the United Nations Treaty on Plastic Pollution in 2024;
* Demanding policies ending the scourge of fast fashion and the vast amount of plastic it produces and uses;
* Investing in innovative technologies and materials to build a plastic-free world.
Plastic production globally has now reached more than 380 million tons per year, and 1 million plastic bags were produced per minute in 2023.
This isn't just about the imminent environmental issue: plastics also present a large threat to human and animal health, such as through ingestible microplastics. Birds and sea life are some of the most notably affected, which further disrupts their ecosystems.
So how can you help?
* *Learn more* about Planet vs Plastics and spread awareness from [
* *Participate in local litter picks* with Love Your Chelmsford [
] or Essex Wildlife Trust [
A volunteer for Chelmsford Parks wearing a branded green shirt and working in tall grass. [
Volunteer with us
If you haven’t already signed up to volunteer with us, *join us now [
] to get involved with your local community*, meet new people, make new friends, develop your skills and help improve your local environment.
The work of volunteers helps make our parks and green spaces even better, both for the humans that visit them and for the nature that lives within them.
A colourful range of primrose in bloom. [
Nature Watch
Do you have regular wildlife visitors to your garden or outdoor spaces? We’d love to hear about them and see your pictures or videos. If you’d be happy for us to share them, you might even see them pop up as part of Chelmsford City Council’s *#WildlifeWednesday* posts.
Pictured: A colourful range of primrose in bloom at Oaklands Park.
*Report your nature watch news* [
Space to Thrive footer - dandelions and flowers
The Story of J.A. Baker and The Peregrine
An exhibition at Chelmsford Museum called Restless Brilliance.
Avid birdwatchers and readers of nature writing may enjoy a trip to *Chelmsford Museum [
]*'s new exhibition on late, local nature writer J.A. Baker and his famous book "The Peregrine".
First published in 1967, this is where Baker documented his observations and studies of the peregrine falcons around the Blackwater estuary, Danbury Hill and the Chelmsford area.
You can also *join a guided walk* [
] to some of these sites in May and June, as part of the Essex Book Festival's programme of events.
*Learn more about the* *exhibition* [
] which is open until 3 November 2024.
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This email was sent to using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Chelmsford City Council · Chelmsford Civic Centre · Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1JE · (01245) 606440 GovDelivery logo [
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