Rare urban pristine green space at Sandy Park

* wild areas of Sandy park slope and Kett’s cave* Gertrude Road and Mousehold Avenue.

Me, Rob and Tony just had an amazing meeting with Will the Mousehold warden (on his lunch break, not in an official way). He loves our wild view on this project. This project is very much for what is best for the environment and some nice paths through for us to enjoy. I wanted to make sure he approved of new steps down the slope to Kett’s cave, new path and removal of a tiny amount of brambles I am proposing to the council. The new path down the slope at Kett’s cave will create a nature corridor for our city-dwelling animals and of course, can be used by people as well!

We heard white throat birds singing! He spotted house sparrows (which I found odd are actually rare now), greenfinches, blackbirds and wrens. The whole area was alive with birds singing.

Plantwise we saw old man beard, Japanese dog rose sweet briar, hogweed, horseradish, ragwort, privet hawthorn, spear thistle, ox foot grass, wild hops, fennel… so many more that I struggled to note!

Also saw the biggest anthill I have ever seen in the UK. Will thinks it’s 30 years old!!! He said there is nothing like this at the Mousehold heath. We have a wonderful piece of land here.

Important things to keep for bugs are nettles, brambles and ivy. Ivy is very much unrated but extremely important. This type of scrubland is extremely important for biodiversity and must be managed with thoughtfully planned actions. It’s very easy to upset the balance even when your intentions are in the right place.

The Muntjac nesting area on the Sandy park slope is fantastic. He loves muntjac and feels they are important for natural grazing. Keeping footpaths to 1 metre gives them lots of privacy.

At the Sandy Park its self our local council do a fabulous job maintaining this area around the kid’s park. They keep areas of long grass, which the butterflies lay their eggs and I always hear grasshoppers singing.

An Autumn cut of grass is recommended around Sep/Oct. Removal of any new Laurel hedges that have self-seeded, cut tops off Laurel hedge, area of dead brambles in the middle on Sandy park slope is fine to remove and create open area. Obviously, I’ll chat with Julian head of George White school before we action any of this.

Will also found some Japanese knotweed, which we have told our local councillors about, as the landowners will need to arrange for its removal.

Sketch of proposal.

Blog post by Liz

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