Meeting with Chris Hammond on 9.1.09.

These are the notes from last Friday's meeting.

Marjo, Des Bowring, Simon Randolph and I met up with Chris Hammond in the park, to talk about some of our current projects and ideas for the future. Chris was accompanied by Bryan Williams of Continental Landscapes who manages maintenance of the park on behalf of the Council. Chris had asked Bryan along to provide continuity given the likelihood of him being moved on to another job with the Parks dept. Here are some of the main things that were discussed:

Hedge cutting regime
We discussed the way that the hedge along Effingham Rd, between the Melita Rd and the depot, could be cut to make it more friendly to wildlife. Until now the hedge has only received what is called an ‘amenity’ cut. CH agreed that certain specimens of hazel, spindle, hawthorn, etc, could be allowed to grow upwards by a further one to one and half metres. Simon will undertake to select six to eight individual specimens of differing varieties and mark them for CH to identify on the Council’s map system. This would allow all concerned, including future Parks dept contractors, to identify the shrubs in question when cutting the hedge.

Wildflower Meadow
This has now been scheduled by CH for planting this spring. Bryan Williams will be co-ordinating the project. Prior to the removal of the top layer of turf, he will arrange to the boundaries to be marked out for our approval. The Glyphosate weed killer treatment can only be applied when ground and air temperatures are above 5 degs C. so the start of the project will be dependent upon the weather. CH and Bryan will arrange for some notices to be erected in the area concerned, which will explain the purpose of the work. For further information please see Jo Corke’s blog on the FoSAP website dated December 1st 2008

Planting of new trees in the park
It has been agreed with CH that we can plant a few young hawthorn and blackthorn along the eastern edge of the park. These will enhance opportunities for a number of insect species that in their larval stage rely on the leaves of these particular trees for food or, as adults, for nectar and pollen sources. The trees, endowed profusely with white flowers in spring, will of course be attractive to human park users as well! It is hoped that they can be planted by early spring at the latest. The value of increasing the biodiversity of the park in this way is discussed in more detail on the website (Type in 'Hawthorn' into Forum Search).

J.M. 13.1.09.

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