Green Spaces

Green Spaces April 2024 Newsletter

As spring approached our team were busy planting out our tubs and troughs.

They are all now in full bloom, at various points around the village.

Please look at them as you travel around the village.

The next major job will be the replanting of these, and the War Memorial, in May. We hope to have a bright display during the summer months.

Are there any volunteers out there who might like to water one or more of these tubs and troughs.

The plants need watering three or four times a week during the first six weeks or so (subject to it not raining and being hot of course!) and then filling the reservoirs at the bottom of the troughs weekly or twice weekly thereafter.

Please contact if you could help.

Some Wildlife wonders seen in the parish of Black Notley at the beginning of April

Rainbow Fungus
(Trametes Versiclor) also known as Turkey Tail.

It was found growing on a felled birch tree.

Did you know: A chemical from it is an approved product for treating cancer in Japan and breast cancer in Asia since 1974.

Oxslip: They look like a cross between a Primrose and a Cowslip

Wild Violet



Black Notley Parish Council Award from Essex Wildlife Trust

The Parish Council were very pleasantly surprised and delighted to be presented with a ‘Wilder Essex Award Wilder Communities’ on 29th September 2023. The award was presented by Sue Howe, Director of Finance and Systems. Sue was accompanied by Danielle Carbott, Wilder Communities Manager.

The award is in recognition of the Parish Council’s commitment to improving the environment in support of native fauna and flora.

In June 2022 the Parish Council signed up to the Essex Wildlife Wilder Towns and Villages Campaign and in July 2022 adopted the Essex Ecology Services Biodiversity Management for the Millenium Green and Cokers Peace, these together with the support from Danielle Carbott has been invaluable in guiding us in our quest.

The Parish Council Green Spaces Sub-Committee seeks to identify ways in which to improve the biodiversity of the various areas as well as to develop and maintain all green spaces for the enjoyment of everyone. However, we can’t do it on our own and welcome suggestions for improvements or feedback from the parishioners as well as seeking volunteers, for example, to help with the planting of the flower boxes or rake up the grasses that have been strimmed at the Millennium Green etc.

If you are interested in volunteering, wish to provide feedback or make suggestions, please contact Mrs Helen Watertfield, Parish Clerk at

From left to right: Danielle Carbott, Sandra Douglas, Sue Howe, Ann Wood

Village Planters and Raised Beds June 2023

At the end of May and the beginning of June the village planters below the signs, the raised beds and the war memorial were all looking a bit sad and therefore time to replant them.  

Richard and Martin (Parish Council caretaker and handyman) were assisted by four local volunteers on Monday 13th June to re-plant them.

The planters have been planted with african marigolds, white geraniums, and two types of trailing greenery.  Hopefully they will start to bloom soon and will be a colourful addition to the village.

The raised beds and war memorial have been planted with some perennial plants which will mean less planting in the future.  They comprise of: small lavender bushes (anouk white), japonicas, greta geranium and margarite percussion double rose

A very kind parishioner, Sheila, who lives near Bulford Lane ‘adopted’ the planter there last year, she watered and tended it and what a difference it made as it remained colourful and vibrant for considerably longer than all our other planters and raised beds, so a big thank you to Sheila.

The Parish Council Green Sub-Committee are looking for more volunteers like Sheila who would be happy to assist with the watering and care of the planters below the road names/signs and indeed the two raised beds at the entrance of Bedells Avenue.  If you live nearby any of these and would like to help in this way, please can you let Helen Waterfield the Parish Clerk know. Your support would very much be appreciated as it is a big undertaking for Martin and Richard to water them all, especially in this heat!!

Contact Helen Waterfield at

March – April 2023

The wet weather throughout March and into the beginning of April curtailed or delayed some of the outdoor activities.  However, the fencing around the Pétanque Court and the benches inside the fencing were installed and the court was declared ‘open’.  In addition, fifty tree whips were planted, mostly at Cokers Peace and a few at the playing field.  Thanks to Mike Kneeler for arranging for the supply of these and to him and his son for assisting Cllr Mike Simmons and Richard Goodman in planting them.

Playing Field

In January and February 2023 two Copper Beech Trees and seven Flowering Cherry trees were planted.  The Copper Beech Trees are to commemorate the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip and the Flowering Cherry trees to commemorate King Charles II Coronation in May.  Plaques to identify these and what they symbolise have been ordered.  Tree guards were installed in April to protect them.    

Weeding of the wild flower bed has been undertaken to allow the grasses to be cut and removed.  This will reduce competition from the grasses and to avoid fertility going back into the soil. 

Black Notley Parish Council (BNPC) signed up to the Essex Wildlife Trust Wilder Towns and Wilder Villages Campaign on 29th June 2022.

The aim is to restore the damaged habitats and create new ones to enable nature and wildlife to thrive.

Our first step towards improving the biodiversity of our green spaces was to implement a biodiversity management plan for the Millennium Green and Cokers Peace.  In order to do this, we engaged the services of ECOS (Essex Ecology Services Ltd) to undertake a survey at each location and to draw up the management plans on our behalf.  These were completed in July 2022. 

The spoil created at the playing field from the construction of the Petanque Court in September 2022 was turned into a bund on the far side of the playing field.  This provided a great opportunity for ‘wilding’.  With guidance from Essex Wildlife Trust, Wilder Communities Manager, Danielle Carbott the bund was divided into sections with native wildflower seeds being sown alongside sections of sand to create bee banks.  An interpretation board will be installed to explain the purpose of the bund to those using the playing field in due course.  Five tonne of sharp sand was used to create the bee banks…. shovelled and barrowed across the playing field in January 2023 by these willing souls!! 

Cokers Peace

There was great excitement when the new lectern was unveiled October 2009

The meadow near Cokers Close was once home to a sewage works for houses in Black Notley. It was then bought, in the hope it could be built on, however, planning permission was not granted. In 2004 the Parish Council were able to purchase the land with the help of a very generous grant from the Essex Environmental Trust, an organisation set up to award grants to deserving conservation projects with money levied from landfill sites in the area.

With advice from Roger Tabor and Alan Purdy, and using the help of contractors and other volunteers, the Parish Council have now fenced the piece of land. We have cleared the undergrowth, dug out the ever flowing ditch and have removed many tonnes of rubble, iron and plastic.  The land has now been seeded with grass and cut three times.  Two footpaths have also been established. This autumn it will be planted with various indigenous shrubs and trees, kindly supplied by Braintree District Council who are helping us with the planting with their Mencap team. It is intended to be kept as a pleasant wildlife area, encouraging plants and animals to flourish. We hope the people of Black Notley will enjoy this additional 3 acres of village countryside. The planting of trees and shrubs was carried out in 2010.

We are hoping for additional volunteers to assist us with this work. Please contact Helen Waterfield on 550309 if you would like to help.

Contact the Clerk or one of your Parish Councillors with your ideas. Email:


The Parish Council have 14 allotments plots in the village we currently have a waiting list, if you are interested in going onto the waiting list please, contact the clerk Giving you name address and telephone number.


Coming soon.

Contact the Clerk or one of your Parish Councillors with your ideas. Email:


Black Notley has miles of foot paths for  you to explore. If you would like a guide to the paths in the Parish, we have produced a map in conjunction with the Essex parish paths partnership. For a free copy, contact the clerk.