Wildlife group

Welcome to the wildlife page.

Members: 21
Latest Activity: Oct 30, 2019

Work of the Wildlife Group

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


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 Fo SAP Apr 21, 2017. 5 Replies

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

Comment Wall

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Comment by Simon Randolph on December 9, 2012 at 11:23

At the last count, about 7, Simon. Can't identify ash dieback until they are in leaf.  But it will only be a matter of time....


Are you going to update the choice of featured photos sometime??!

(Admin) - Done ;-)

Comment by admin on December 9, 2012 at 10:42

Hi - how many Ash trees do we have in the park and do we have the skills to be able to identify if they are suffering from ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea fungus)?

In addition, do we have any idea what the population of Ash is in the surrounding area to the park?

Comment by Jo Corke on July 16, 2012 at 14:00

Butterflies are having a tough time this summer so why not do a count in your local park. It only takes 15 minutes of bright or sunny weather some time between now and 5th August – we can only hope it will be sunny some time soon.

Visit for details of how to log what you see. The identification chart can be downloaded here


Comment by Jo Corke on July 16, 2012 at 11:41

The recommendation to carry out a Tree Plan for St Andrews Park has been approved by the Neighbourhood Partnership .

You can find  out more on the special  Tree Plan Page of the Wildlife group.

Comment by Jo Corke on June 21, 2012 at 13:19

Hi wildlifers,

The noticeboard within in the pond area, originally supplied by Judith, has become somewhat damaged by time and diversity (in this case the diversity is insects and other invertebrates) making their homes therein or even eating it. Sometime in Feb, someone removed the frame and information notice entirely. so of late there have been no new notices.

We are hoping that a replacement trunk can be acquired to replace it.
In the meantime, I have made a replacement frame; picture attached.

The pond is nearly clear of excess vegetation (it's impressive what a bit of water, CO2  and sunlight can achieve by way of photosynthesis.)  Next week I hope to remove some more goldfish and they will be looking for new homes. 

If you are at the pond, look out for the tiny new frogs already out of the water. Some of the remaining tadpoles have back legs, others are still in the early stages.

I fear that one of the toads has died. I saw it looking distinctly lethargic last week, and today I was told there had been a dead amphibian seen on the grass. Now recycled, no doubt.


Comment by Des Bowring on June 12, 2012 at 15:04

good job it was the robin and not the sparrowhawk that landed on your head Jo - that could have been a very painful experience.

Sparrowhawks have probably suffered badly in the recent rain and wind - unable to hunt effectively and no doubt with young in the nest, but I doubt if Tim's Great Tit is quite so sympathetic! 

Comment by Jo Corke on June 12, 2012 at 14:21

I was in the park, doing some pond maintenance, 5 hours ago - but I missed seeing that. On Sunday at the pond a young robin landed on my head; perhaps it was seeking safety from the sparrowhawk! - Jo .

Comment by tim cowell on June 12, 2012 at 8:42

just seen a sparrrowhawk take out a great tit - tim

Comment by Jo Corke on May 27, 2012 at 18:57

Here is the illustrated report  for May 2012. It will be tabled at the committee mtg on 30.5.12 All photos by Simon

Comment by Jo Corke on April 15, 2012 at 10:19

Here is the illustrated wildlife  report   for the AGM 2012. All the photos by Simon and Des.

Simon and Jo.


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