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 Jon Mortin on June 14, 2014 at 19:20

Two Pipistrelle Bats feeding above the pond area on Wednesday evening. Hard to photograph in the fading light but I got a few silhouette-like shots against the sky.

Comment by tim cowell on March 19, 2014 at 14:45

great to see improvements re. pond- my grandson fell in last month!! Tim C

Comment by Jo Corke on November 29, 2013 at 17:46

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is once again returning to Bristol and will be open to visitors from Saturday 30 November to 23 February.

The touring exhibition is displayed at MShed - Bristol

New for this year, the touring photography competition in Bristol will be complemented with a display - Bristol wildlife - get wild about your city - celebrating the city’s diverse and special wildlife.


Comment by Jo Corke on November 29, 2013 at 16:52

It’s Good News Week: after several months – years?- of submissions, applications and frustration we are pleased to announce that the three improvements we need have all been approved this month.

1. The improvement to the far side of the pond, which will entail some digging out of the bank to allow a safe route around the pond is being undertaken by Justin Smith, the BBC wildlife officer with his team of helpers. We do not have a date for this yet, but it should begin soon.

2. A team from Avon Wildlife Trust volunteers will do a major clearance of vegetation from the pond, which will enable us to deal with regular clearance more easily; this will be on January 6th and everyone is welcome to come along and cheer them on – you won’t have to do any work yourself!

3. The repairs to the pond gate and the extension of the perimeter fence to include the several unfenced metres near Melita Road gate is due to be done on December 18th.

Thanks to all who have helped, encouraged and supported us in our grant applications for these works,

Jo and Simon.

Comment by Jo Corke on April 12, 2013 at 14:14

The annual report of the wildlife group for the AGM is here.

Comment by Jo Corke on March 23, 2013 at 11:02

Tree Plan moves forward. Caroline Hollies (TreeBristol) presentation in March 2013 to FoSAP is here.

If you have been to the park recently you will have seen the new trees; if not, photos on this website.

Comment by Jo Corke on February 24, 2013 at 18:11

Mark has provided  this information  on Ash Tree dieback.

Comment by Jo Corke on February 5, 2013 at 17:28

The January 2013 update to the Tree Planting Plan is here

Comment by Jo Corke on December 12, 2012 at 16:06

here is a link to "what is Ash dieback and how can I report a sighting".

Let's get out there and Save our Ash trees for Ashley!


Comment by admin on December 9, 2012 at 22:06

I'd rather have the ash tree.


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