Posted: Tuesday 21st March 2017
The Victoria Playing Field Greenspace Action Plan 2016-21 includes a range of exciting actions to improve the Playing Field for people and for wildlife. The work is getting underway this autumn with a conservation project, before the major play area improvements which are currently scheduled for next summer.
A hedgerow of native shrubs will be planted along the northern boundary. Between two popular laurel bushes close to the play area, this will be in the form of a hedge tunnel, linking the bushes into an extended area for natural play. This will greatly enhance the natural play experience on the Playing Field.
Outside this area, laurel has been removed to accommodate the new hedge. The native shrubs will provide extra colour and interest for visitors and support a diverse range of wildlife, providing food and shelter for birds and small mammals. Species planted will include hawthorn, hazel, guelder rose and field maple.
Once fully grown, in around five years, the new hedge should provide as much protection as the laurel from traffic noise on Folly Lane. This effect will be improved by its extension to the north-west entrance. Planting will take place as soon as possible after the laurel is cleared.
Spring bulbs will be planted along the edge of the meadow on the southern side of the Playing Field, in a band 1m wide. These will define the boundary of the meadow and add spring colour to the Playing Field. The bulbs will be a mixture of winter aconites, snowdrops and a variety of crocuses.
Thirdly, a trial area of wildflowers will be sown in a small plot in a sunnier part of the meadow. A variety of colourful native species which grow well in competition with grasses will be chosen, such as oxeye daisy, cowslip and selfheal. If the trial is successful, this area could be expanded in future years.
We will be welcoming volunteers to help with the hedge, bulb and seed planting. The first volunteer task is planned for 13th November from 10am to 4pm.