The Co-op Field is a sloping 4-acre field, near Asheridge Road. In 2017, it was agreed to mow an area at the top of the field less frequently to encourage a greater diversity of plants to grow. In 2019, this area was extended following the removal of the old play area. A variety of wild plants have been recorded on the site, including comfrey, cow parsely, garlic mustard and germander speedwell.
In 2021, the Council agreed to change the management of the whole field, so that the field is only mown once a year in late summer, with the exception of paths that will be mown through and round the field to assist walkers. This change in management will reduce our carbon footprint and also give us an opportunity to work with the Chesham & District Natural History Society to see what grows naturally across the whole field. It will also be interesting to see how this change provides habitats for pollinators and other wildlife. In the first season of changed management, volunteers from Chesham and District Natural History Society have already identified two species of orchid growing on site. We are working with the society to create additional habitats for invertebrates.
The Council is now working with a student, who is carrying out a scoping study to look at the feasibility of creating an edible forest garden on the field. You can find out more about edible forest gardens by visit the Centre for Alternative Technology's web site.