The council’s parks team has planted two wildflower meadows which include bee corridors (which are planting schemes that link up different areas) so bees and other pollinators can travel easily from one area to another.
In Upton Court Park a new larger wildflower meadow has been sown adjacent to the new playground, that’s extended the previous meadow and resown it with a perennial/annual mix including poppy and cornflower.
In Salt Hill Park the Community Orchard has been planted, and a wildflower meadow sown around it, by the stream. The Orchard contains a fantastic mix of fruit trees and nut trees. Cherries, apples, pears, plums, greengages, hazelnut and walnut trees have all been planted already. Residents will be encouraged to pick the fruit and nuts to enjoy at home later in the summer and into the autumn.
The aim is to have wildflower meadows in most of the boroughs parks over time, to help and encourage bees, butterflies and hoverflies. Meadows also provide bees with somewhere to live as they burrow in the ground.
Ian Judd, parks officer, said: “These exciting projects will encourage biodiversity in our parks as well as providing beautiful areas for people to enjoy. Our parks have been enjoyed more than ever during Covid for exercise, and we are always aiming to improve and enrich them. I’m looking forward to the Community Orchard fruit being enjoyed in the summer by residents and can’t wait to see what recipes they come up with.
“Residents may have already seen that crocuses have been the first to flower and they will be followed by flowering cherries and apple trees. The wildflower meadows will start to bloom in June/July through to November. There’s a lot to see! As you have been throughout Covid, please continue to enjoy our beautiful parks safely, within current Covid regulations.”