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Wildlife group

Welcome to the wildlife page.

Members: 18
Latest Activity: Jun 20

Work of the Wildlife Group

Comments for the Wildlife group are posted below this introduction to the work of the wildlife group.

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Our formal ‘Victorian’ park might not seem to provide much in the way of interesting habitat for wildlife. Yet we can boast of having over 175 mature trees comprising at least 32 different species. (If you open the 'Trees' tab at the top of the Main page, you can find out more about our park trees.)

Comments for the Wildlife group are posted below this introduction to the work of the wildlife group.
Over 14 years ago an earlier wildlife group planted stretches of hedge along Effingham Road and opposite St Bart's Church made up of a mix of native tree species and flowering shrubs which have now matured. These attract a variety of birds and insects by offering them a range of food as well as nesting and shelter sites.

We have been steadily improving on this existing biodiversity. In agreement with the Parks department, we have built a pond (2007) seeded a wildflower meadow (2009) and planted additional hawthorn and blackthorn saplings (2009.) We have (2010) persuaded the Parks department to replace their previous severe hedge-cutting regime and institute instead a much more wildlife friendly approach to the cutting and management of the mature hedges which will involve less frequent cuts and allow the plants to grow significantly thicker and higher. This has to be good news for many invertebrate species as well as hedge nesting birds and birds that just use the hedge as a food resource. A shady 'woodland' area between the edge of the depot and the meadow area has been partially planted with shade loving native species: wild garlic, red campion and native bluebells (2011). A further section of this shade area will be similarly planted in 2012.

In September 2012, three diseased cherry trees were cut down in the park.  The trunks were placed in the lower corner between the depot and the shade area. As these slowly rot, they will become a rotting wood habitat, colonised, we hope, by various invertebrates and fungi that feed on and in the wood.

We organise regular morning birdwatch meetings on the third Sunday of the month, usually from September to June, to follow the changing bird populations during the year.

Photographs of the natural history of the park are regularly added to the website which record the natural wildlife and seasonal changes taking place in the park.

The south facing slope below the Bowling Green was cleared (April 2011) of the small ash trees that had seeded themselves here.  Also partial clearance and serious pruning has been carried out on the gorse,bramble,Taveller's Joy (wild clematis) and cotoneaster shrubs that had come to dominate this area.  In their place, a variety of herbaceous plants have been planted which should provide an attractive resource for insects looking for pollen and nectar. 

The following plants form the main body of the planting on the slope:

  • Fragasia vesca                                
  • Thymus drucei                                 
  • Nepeta mussinii                
  • Aubrieta deltoides              
  • Aster novii - belgii                
  • Scabiosa autopurpurea                    
  • Waldsteinia ternata                         
  • Geranium himalayense 'Gravetye'
  • Geranium Macorhizzum 'Ingwersen's Variety'



 If you would like to help in any way in developing the park as a more interesting and attractive place for wildlife, or just to be kept informed of any news and developments relating to the animals and plants of the park, then you are most welcome to join our group; please contact us through this website.

 You can find out about nature reserves managed by Bristol City Council here.

Jo Corke and Simon Randolph.

Discussion Forum

The Value of Different Tree Species for Invertebrates and Lichens

Started by Des Bowring. Last reply by Simon Randolph Oct 11, 2009. 4 Replies

Here's an interesting web page that lists the most important tree species for associated invertebrates…Continue

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Comment by Jo Corke on June 20, 2016 at 14:36
Some of the toadpoles now have legs.
Comment by Simon Randolph on June 19, 2016 at 18:06

Well spotted, Jon. And a nice photo. I saw one of these parasitic conopid flies (S.ferrugineus) a couple of days ago in the gardens of St Peters Hospice, Brentry. Apparently the adult fly lays its eggs on bumblebees (probably while in flight) and the larva then feeds largely on the host's blood. 

Comment by Fo SAP on June 19, 2016 at 10:54

Just as well we are growing it in the wildflower meadow, then, as otherwise who would get to see it these days? For info - it is rare now but was once a very common weed of cornfields. Now virtually  extinct in wild in UK due to herbicides and that the seed of Corn-cockle does not remain viable for very long when dormant in the soil.

Comment by Jon Mortin on June 17, 2016 at 20:39

A strange-looking fly (Sicus ferrugineus) on a Corncockle flower. Corncockle are apparently practically extinct in the wild, only known from wildflower mixes such as this.

Comment by Des Bowring on June 14, 2016 at 17:36

It's really looking great - well done Alison!

Comment by Rosa wellspring on June 14, 2016 at 16:47

Sounds good. I'm not much good at identifying plants but I'll have a look next time I'm down there. Rosa

Comment by Alison Griffies on June 13, 2016 at 18:42

Flowering plants spotted in the wildflower meadow near the pond so far include: black medic, corncrake, cornflower, bird's foot trefoil, yellow rattle, knapweed, poppy, white dead nettle, several species of cranesbills, pink campion, white campion, bladder campion, ox eye daisy, teasel, red clover. I am sure there are more which I have missed or are not easy to identify yet. Please add to the list!

It is particularly good to see that so much yellow rattle has flowered as these parasitise grasses.

Comment by Fo SAP on March 3, 2016 at 17:45
Welcome Rosa, I know of your interest in small tortoiseshells and, following your email we are currently discussing how we can encourage these and other insects in the park. We look forward to meeting up sometime.
Comment by Jon Mortin on December 13, 2015 at 16:01

It will be interesting to see how the wildflower meadow develops now. I'm always a bit suspicious of commercial wildflower mixes: this one is no exception with strange components such as Highland Bent (not native to our region), Corncockle (practically extinct in the wild and an arable rather than a meadow plant) and very low proportions of the best insect attractants such as Common (Black) Knapweed. But I'm grateful for the efforts being made and the most suitable species for the site will eventually predominate I expect...

Comment by Simon Randolph on December 5, 2015 at 14:15

Well done Alison.

Let's hope we get a really good germination next spring, though with weather as mild as it is at the moment, it wouldn't be impossible for some seeds to germinate now!!

 
 
 

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