• Conservation,  History,  Nature,  work party

    Clearing!

    Restoration works You may have heard about plans to do some restoration work at the Italian Garden, and the viewing platform just below Chamberlain House. The Italian Garden project has been under discussion for a few months, between the Landscape Practice Group (LPG), the Trust & Charities Committee, Cllr. Mullaney, Phillada Ballard (historian) and others, including us. The plan is to bid for somewhere between £50k and £100k bid to restore part of the Italian Garden, mainly the balustrade and pergola, via English Heritage and perhaps Heritage Lottery. The English Heritage Grants for Historic Buildings, Monuments and Designed Landscapes seems a likely prospect. In order to develop a project budget,…

  • Events,  Imagery,  Nature,  work party

    Biodiversity Work Party

    Last Saturday’s work party was notable for two things: the amount of work that got done, and the number of people that didn’t turn up. Six parks workers, the council ecologist, and (briefly) one HPF volunteer were in attendance, and did a dramatic amount of work on the east end of the big pond, plus strimming around the Henburys pond. Part of the idea is to change the pH of both pools by clearing laurel and rhododendron from the banks. An extra benefit is that both ponds are now easier to walk around, and have somewhat more light falling on them. The result

  • Events,  work party

    A Bit Of Paling

    Early this evening, Jean and I set up the first bit of paling for the wildflower garden. Rob has left us three short sections and some poles. Jean and I brought hand tools, and within an hour or so – and between rainshowers – had dug three holes, set the posts, and stapled the first bit of paling to them. We made two small but fascinating discoveries in digging the post holes. The first post hole was very rich forest loam down to about 6 inches, then turned to a very sticky pale grey clay. The second posthole, 8 feet north, was the same composition, but the water table was…

  • Events,  Nature,  work party

    Woodland Wildflower Garden

    We’ve been working with Nicola Little of Quadron to identify and develop a patch of native wildflowers next to the apiary. The idea is to do something about the overabundance of Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) whilst also providing something of interest to the bees that’s suited to the location and habitat. The solution is to plant a variety of plant species that are both shade and damp tolerant, such as foxglove, ragged robin, bog primula, and wild garlic. But first, we need to clear a site, and decide what goes where! Volunteers needed So we are looking for volunteers to help with a) pulling up the balsam before it sets…

  • Events,  News

    Bee-lightful

    Concerto for Alpenhorn and loppers If you’re a regular Saturday visitor to the park, you are likely to have heard the Alpenhorn echoing over the meadows.  Today, those of us working in the apiary were treated to several tunes whilst snipping our way through the laurel and holly. If you listen carefully to the video above, the sounds of the horn can be heard between bits of conversation and the sound of several shears snipping. The work party itself was also a wonderful thing. We had just enough tools for the people who turned up, and kept ourselves busy for 3 hours, occasionally stopping for drinks and conversation. Rob, John…

  • Community,  Events,  Nature

    Work Party, Saturday 27 March, 11-3

    Our first event of the year will be a work party near the apiary. Some of the long-neglected areas of the park deserve some attention, and we want to support the beekeepers in their efforts. They’ll be starting work on the hives in early April, so we’ve decided that a bit of brush clearing beforehand is the thing to do. We want to focus on the area below the apiary that’s mainly laurel and bramble, and the upper part of the duck pond (where the new pipe is being laid, and around the waterfall). We also hope to have enough people to do some work maintaining the Queensbridge footpath, possibly…