A new public spaces strategy, involving close collaboration with local groups and communities, will improve open spaces and create a more biodiverse borough by allowing wild flowers and meadows to flourish on some open spaces.

Cllr Andrew Jefferies, Cabinet Member for Environment, Sports and Leisure, said: "This strategy puts communities and biodiversity at the heart of our maintenance plans.

"By working with community and 'Friends of Parks' groups and focusing on allowing tall grass and wildflowers to flourish, we will create a more resilient and diverse network of parks and open spaces for more residents to use, enjoy and take pride in as important havens for wildlife on their doorsteps.

"By creating 'no mow' areas on certain verges and in specific areas of parks and other green spaces, where grass is left to grow rather than being mowed, we will encourage the growth of wildflowers and a greater diversity of wildlife and pollinators here in the borough. Grass will continue to be cut in playing fields, sports pitches and in play areas, as it always has been.

"This combines with our tree strategy which will see appropriate trees planted in suitable areas where they will have a positive environmental impact and promote physical and mental wellbeing by creating natural sanctuaries across Thurrock.

To read the full strategy, go to Cabinet agenda, item 13, Wednesday 8 December.