Councillor Chris Daykin reports:
I recently took a tour of our open spaces with Dominic Sunderland our South Downs ranger to discuss what we could do to improve the habitat for biodiversity by way of planting or perhaps nest boxes. The following is a summary of his recommendations.
The Wharf – This area is I think enjoyed just as it is, with the right balance between amenity and natural habitat. My own suggestion is for planting of flowering climbers alongside the fence where the boats used to be. They would be welcomed by pollinators and enhance the beauty of the space. If any volunteers would like to help with this task in the spring, please contact Judith Daykin as head of BWBV.
Pill Pond – Probably needs some planting alongside the stream edge, but it is heavily browsed by deer. We decided to wait and see what comes up in spring and take it from there. Dominic thought he may get his own volunteers to carry out planting in conjunction with repairs to the hazel faggots retaining the stream edge.
Coates Sandpit – Rhododendron is starting to invade the area which is a species the park removes wherever possible as it is non-indigenous and tends to take over, much like the bracken which is also widespread in the sandpit. Dominic intends to organise a work party of his volunteers to remove both. No sign of sand martins using the nest holes, unfortunately.
Recreation Ground – There is good scope here in the outfield to establish a small wildflower meadow, particularly in the area to the side of the pavilion. South Downs is encouraging applications at the moment for their Beeline scheme and BPC has applied. Apparently, some match funding is required, but this could possibly be equipment and materials for ongoing maintenance, we will have to see, again some volunteer help would be welcome. There is a very overgrown hedge line parallel to the A29 a few metres inside the roadside hedge that Dominic believes would benefit from hedge laying, beyond our means but if we get funding for the wildflowers, we may be able to push for a bit more if there is another round. The saplings planted by Chris Briggs a few years ago are doing well, with about 30 or so surviving,