We need volunteers

The park has been so important to so many during this last locked-down year. People have come here for permitted exercise, to run their children and their dogs, to walk off their worries or just to stay sane in an increasingly insane world. Now that we are promised an end to the craziness, it is the park that needs a little help.

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Double flowers

If you are planting your flower beds and hanging baskets this weekend, keep our dwindling population of pollinators in mind and please don’t plant double flowers.

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The Cycle of Life Continues!

by Simon Knight

After my amazing weasel encounter, which showed the daily fight for survival that happens within the park, and to which many people are oblivious; I was fortunate to witness the opposite of the weasel encounter – this time life being created. 

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Invasion of the Spanish squill

On Friday we posted a gallery of grey squirrels, an invasive alien species that has almost completely replaced our native squirrel population. Unfortunately, our native bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is also being threatened by the spread of an invasive alien: Spanish squill (Hyacinthoides hispanica), a similar bluebell species imported into our gardens from southern Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The extraordinary flowers of wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides) growing in the Arboretum.

Conservation status: common

Pictures by Suzanne Humphries

A gallery of squirrels

We know they are an invasive alien species that inflicts terrible damage on our trees every year – but they are also much loved, long term park residents.

Header picture by Simon Knight

COULD FOOD FORESTS BE THE FUTURE FOR ORCHARDS?  

You will know that the Park has an orchard that was planted a few years ago.  Some of you might have helped to plant it.  It was created as a Community Garden and to maintain expertise we keep in contact with the Orchard Project, a national organisation for such orchard managers.  This article is from their latest newsletter, which I feel will interest many park users. 

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Park nightlife

Wildlife photographer Simon Knight has been sneaking up on our badgers. Click the green button for a little peek into the park’s nightlife.

Header picture: badgers at a bird feeder in Lambrok Close: by Jude Summers

The first fritillaries

Julie Newblé and Ian Bushell have sent us pictures of the first of the year’s beautiful snake’s head fritillaries (fritillaria meleagris), which are classified as vulnerable on the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain.

Nettle soup

The stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are coming up: wonderful habitat for invertebrates, itchy feet for our dogs and free food for us. Try nettle soup, easy to make, nutritious and very tasty.

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