University Conservation Volunteers

The University of Birmingham Conservation Volunteers came to Highbury Park on Sunday 17th March to help clear the dense laurel that had built up around Henburys Pond.

Laurel is originally a Mediterranean plant that is now widespread in the UK, where it enjoys the damper conditions. As an evergreen, it is popular for hedges and ornamentation. It is a large shrub that can easily crowd out other plants and colonise large areas.

Henburys Pond is in the South East of the park, near the allotments.

Over the years there seems to be a reduction in aquatic species in the Henburys Pond. Although the reasons are not known for sure, it is known that a large amount of laurel leaves can poison a pond.

To help the pond recover, the volunteers cut down many of the laurel trees growing over the water. The result is a much clearer vista of the pond and improved footpaths for the many people who like to wander to that corner of the park.

The laurel will grow back, but it will be a few years before it reaches the same height and density.

Many thanks to the Conservation Volunteers, their help has really made a difference.


  • admin

    Thanks for being in touch, Tony. The reason for clearing the laurel is that it’s poisonous and we are trying to keep it under control all over the estate. Later this year we will be producing a full management plan that will detail how invasive species will be managed and hopefully this will help the ecology of the park in the future

    On behalf of HPF

  • Tony Rabaiotti

    Sounds good. I’ve worried about the laurel and holly growth for some time. Well done.
    I made one of my rare visits to Sutton Park this week and was appalled at the way the holly has been allowed to take over certain areas. Can we please keep it in check in Highbury? Especially the Beech copse and by the duck pond?

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