Wildlife Garden Annual Report 2017

folp Wildlife Garden

After a few years of benign neglect a volunteer support group was re-established in 2017. The aims are to manage the garden better and add to its existing plants/ features. Along with routine garden maintenance jobs there have been six work party sessions, including one in January 2018.Tasks carried out by the work parties have included

  • Tree pruning.
  • Coppicing hazel trees.
  • Grubbing out excess dogwood and blackthorn
  • Cutting back excessive shrub growth.
  • Clearing debris and weed from the pond.
  • Clearing silt from sections of the path.
  • Raking dead grass in the autumn.
  • Planting hedging whips.
  • Flower planting – bulbs (wild daffodil, bluebell, crocus), foxgloves ,comfrey, cowslip.

Other jobs during the year were,

Grass mowing: There have been two types of mowing. Approximately every six weeks cut the edges running alongside the path running through the garden along with cutting narrow pathways through the main grassed areas. An annual cut in early September of all the grass. The latter cut was done by Amey.

Cleaning the canopy adjacent to the fig tree:  This hadn’t been cleaned for a number of years and a thick layer of dirt was removed.

Litter picking:  We regularly pick litter in the area.

Pond:  There have been a few issues during the year. After the long dry spell in late spring and early summer the pond dried out. Clearly lack of rain was a factor, but it is also possible the pond liner has deteriorated/been damaged thereby allowing seepage. From mid- summer onwards water levels have been maintained by regular rainfall. Reed growth has been a problem and four green wheelie bin loads were cleared out. Another regular job is taking out branches and sticks along with the occasional can and bottle.

Woodland management:  The main wooded section ie the section between the pond and the athletics stadium had become too dense and needed thinning out. A work party session led by Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers cleared deadwood/ unwanted self-seeded  saplings  and raised the tree canopy. The area is now more open, however shading remains a problem due to the height of neighbouring trees in the park.

FOLP Open Day July 2017: We had a successful session at this event with many people, including children, willing to talk to us and offer suggestions for the management and development of the garden. With regard to planting, people suggested more flowers and bushes specifically to attract wildlife such as bees and butterflies along with a herb garden. There were many ideas to encourage and protect birds, insects and larger animals. Other ideas for making general improvements to the garden included – making it a dog free zone, more wood carvings, having a bin near the large picnic table, removing the seat (along with the weeds) from under the canopy.

Overall, most of the people we spoke to seemed to like the WLG area.

Thanks to

Steve, Jackie, Jan, Richard, Serena and Sarah for their work in the garden

Dave Sykes (Amey) for advice and support

Peter Wyatt (Amey) for machine cutting the meadow grass in September

Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers

FOLP for £250 grant for plants plus some additional funding for tools

Woodland Trust for supplying hedging whips.

Additional Help is Always Welcome!!!

We are an easy going and informal group of enthusiastic amateurs.

If anyone wants to help us look after the garden they would receive a warm welcome.

Interested? Please  get in touch with Rick Webb  07966805717