Wildlife group

Welcome to the wildlife page.

Members: 21
Latest Activity: Jul 6, 2021

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 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!!

Comment by Alison Griffies on December 5, 2015 at 13:03

Wildflower seeds planted on 5th  Dec 2015 supplied by Yellow Flag Wildflowers

Yellow Rattle 60g, Cowslip 10g, Corncockle 10g

General Purpose Wildflower Mix 110g contains:

Contains a good range of species found in a diverse range of habitat and soil types.
Mixture specification
(all percentages by seed weight)
80% meadow grass:20% Wild flower
BLACK KNAPWEED Centaurea nigra 0.7 % of mix
COMMON SORREL Rumex acetosa 1 % of mix
COMMON ST JOHN`S WORT Hypericum perforatum 0.5 % of mix
COWSLIP Primula veris 1.2 % of mix
CRESTED DOGSTAIL (grass) Cynosurus cristatus 40 % of mix
GREAT BURNET Sanguisorba officinalis 0.7 % of mix
HIGHLAND BENT (grass) Agrostis castellana 5 % of mix
LADY`S BEDSTRAW Galium verum 3.3 % of mix
MEADOW BUTTERCUP Ranunculus acris 3.8 % of mix
MUSK MALLOW Malva moschata 1 % of mix
OXEYE DAISY Leucanthemum vulgare 2.2 % of mix
RED CAMPION Silene dioica 2.2 % of mix
RED FESCUE (grass) Festuca rubra ssp. Commutata 10 % of mix
RED FESCUE (grass) Festuca rubra ssp. Pruinosa 25 % of mix
YARROW Achilla millefolium 1 % of mix
YELLOW RATTLE Rhinanthus minor 2.4 % of mix

Comment by Fo SAP on May 24, 2015 at 14:58

This may be of interest to our group as its next (small and cheap) project, the construction of a couple of bee hotels as shown here:

 The necessary DIY skills seem minimal!!

I will email the wildlife group to see if there is any interest.

Comment by Alison Griffies on May 10, 2015 at 13:33

List of plants added to the pond bank May 10th 2015

  • Achillea Rose Madder x1
  • Achillea Walther Funcke x1
  • Bellflower Campanula perscicifolia Peach leaf bellflower x3
  • * Borage Borago officianalis
  • Borage
  • Bugle Ajuga reptans x7
  • Campion bladder Silene vulgaris x3
  • Catmint Nepeta hybrida ‘Dawn to Dusk’x2
  • Cowslip
  • Red Clover Trifolium pratense x2
  • * Comfrey Spymphytum officianale
  • Cranesbill Geranium oxonianum Wargrave pink x2
  • Cranesbill Geranium oxonianum Johnsons Blue x2
  • Cranesbill Geranium oxonianum Mrs Kendall x1
  • Cranesbill Geranium maculatum chatto x1
  • Flowering currant Ribes odoratum x1
  • Daisy ox eye Leucanthemum vulgare x2
  • White Deadnettle Lamium album x1
  • Red Deadnettle Lamium red nancy x3
  • Knapweed Centaurea scabiousa Greater knapweed x2
  • Knapweed Centaurea montana x1
  • Lavender Lavandula angustifolia x6
  • Mahonia japonica x1
  • Mallow common Malva sylvestris x1
  • Rosemary Rosmarinus officianalis x1
  • Sage Salvia officianalis x3
  • Meadow clary Salvia pratensis x3
  • Scabious Knautia macedonica Red scabious x1
  • Scabious Knautia arvensis Field scabious x2
  • Sedum Sedum spectabile x2
  • Red Valerian Centranthus rubra x3
  • White Valerian Centranthus alba pura  x1
Comment by Jo Corke on April 24, 2015 at 10:47

Invasive Weeds - a report    here.

Comment by Jo Corke on February 19, 2015 at 18:21

Wildlife Report for Feb 25th 2015 meeting.

1. The Effingham Road hedge has been laid. It does look a bit drastic, but we hope it will soon be an enhanced wildlife feature, and it should please the people who live in that bit of Effingham Road and who had complained about the hedge being too high.

2. The pond access improvement is now finished. We await the frogs return.

3. RHS parks Award.  John to report – we have made an initial application  pending the meeting’s agreement to proceed.

4. Perennial Wildflower meadow. We have been told that our application for re-creating the meadow has been successful (but have not actually had the email yet) and are in consultation with Sarah Tyler’s team at BCC; we think that the ground preparation will be done in-house by BCC. We will be organising the sowing of the seed ourselves, perhaps as a work-day.

5. The maintenance of herbaceous slope below the Bowling Green has been taken on by a Fosap member, Alison Griffies.

6. If you want to take on something similar, let us know. There are other bits looking for some TLC.

7. February’s Bird Walk was led by Lois; A good number of people attended, and the list of sightings was appropriately longer.   


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