Transition Chichester Green Corners
Chichester is a beautiful city with many lovely green areas which support a good variety of wildlife. However, Transition Chichester feel that there are ways in which the biodiversity in our parks and public spaces could often be significantly improved by introducing wild flower plug plants, and by slightly changing the mowing regime. We should be able to do this fairly easily and cheaply, and once these small ‘wildflower meadow’ areas have become established, their maintenance may well cost less than does the current management plan – good news for council tax payers!
The ‘Green Corners’ Project
Our new ‘Transition Chichester Green Corners’ initiative aims to make some of the many small, sometimes out-of-the-way pockets of Chichester more wildlife-friendly by planting native wildflower plugs, and allowing the grass to grow a bit longer. This should benefit bumble bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other wildlife, as well as making the city more interesting for residents and visitors alike! The corners will be mown less frequently, and the plants will certainly need to be left for several weeks after flowering to set seed, so at times the areas may look untidy to some eyes. But short grass is not good news for most wildlife – though the corners will need to be cut once or twice a year and the trimmings removed.
We would also like to enhance the wildlife value of the city in as many other ways as we can eg by putting up bird and bat boxes in suitable sites around the city. In the future we may be able to organise natural history study sessions where experts could teach us more about the wildlife that has come to live in our Green Corners.
How you can help
- You could help the project by raising native wild flower plugs from seed (provided by Transition Chichester) for planting in one of our Green Corners. The seed mix is sourced from Emorsgate Seeds http://wildseed.co.uk/, a well respected company, and contains over 20 species of wild flower. Full instructions will be provided; all you need to do is to sow the seed in trays, and prick out the seedlings as they emerge. Some will come up quickly, others need a cold spell to trigger germination, so won’t appear until spring. You can pick up your seeds by calling in at the Bishop’s Garden Community Garden between 10am and 12 noon on any Wednesday or Saturday morning.
- We would welcome offers of bird and bat boxes – maybe you have some waste wood that you could use. These will be put up on suitable trees around the city. The British Trust for Ornithology have a good range of designs to choose from. Tit or sparrow nesting boxes may well be the most successful for our sites. http://www.bto.org/about-birds/nnbw/make-a-nest-box
Bat box instructions can be found on the Bat Conservation Trust website http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/bat_boxes.html
- If you have suggestions of corners of Chichester that might be turned into Transition Chichester Green Corners, please get in touch.
It would be very useful to carry out some sort of survey of the biodiversity of our ‘Green Corners’ as compared with adjacent areas of eg closely mown grass. We would be delighted if you would like to help with this aspect of the project.
- And if you are unable to get involved in any of the above ways but have enjoyed looking at one of our Green Corners, you can help by emailing us to tell us. We will rely on approval from the public to be able to expand our project. Any small donations to cover the cost of more wildflower seed, notices, or tools would be most welcome.
Current Green Corners
New Park bank: An area to the north of the New Park Community Centre new building which was planted with its first wild flowers in 2015.
Whyke Amphitheatre Park (in association with the Whyke Residents Association): a corner of the park is being planted with wildflower plugs (starting in July 2016), and the perimeter will be strimmed less often.
Whyke Oval Banks: part of these banks is being cleared of thistles and planted with wildflowers.
Oaklands Park Wildflower meadow: the area surrounding the community orchard is being turned into a wildflower meadow. This year it was a lovely blaze of oxeye daisies.
Transition Chichester Green Corners Blog
Look out for a blog featuring Transition Chichester Green Corners – to be set up shortly – and see what is currently flowering or buzzing in our project areas. You will find a link on this page of the TC website.