Victoria Park wildlife update

January 29 2016
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Managing a nature reserve within a city park has its surprises. When the long grass in parts of Victoria Park has had its annual cut in early autumn, it looks much like the rest of the park – for months. Not that that bothers the pied wagtails with their distinctive swooping flight and wagging tails.

By Victoria Park Wildlife Group

Conservation work continues. Members of the VP Wildlife Group had no need to do a major clean-up leaf-rake this year; the council complied with mechanised blowers and a lorry to shift the piles. As long as the meadows are cut before the leaf-fall along the big avenue to Fraser Street, all works well.  

We did, however, rake the small tree-ringed hollow near Somerset Terrace, ready for whatever flowers wish to take over. Whereas we ignored the leaves under the big sycamore by the wall of St Mary Redcliffe school, townside; the daffs are coming up anyway.

This month we’ll be doing a bit more coppicing in the top woods, to let in more light.  Hopefully after a couple more years’ treatment we’ll see a growth of ground flora in there. In the meantime, keep an eye open for long-tailed tits and their lovely light song, and the imminent onset of patches of snowdrops and wild garlic in one of the woods. 

Our wildflower patches, the patches of bare soil on the meadows, are work in progress. And something exciting may be happening to the butterfly garden by the children’s playground, too – not just the spring re-opening of Mrs Brown’s coffee stall! 

Another thing under investigation is the possibility of a live-willow sculpture on one of the park’s wetter patches, possibly where the springs and occasional streamlets are in full flow at the moment. 

Contact VPAG website if you’d like to join our monthly work-mornings. 

• www.vpag.org.uk