Monday, 1 April 2013

Work in Byfield Pocket Park

The idea of a pocket park in Byfield dates back to 1963, with work starting soon after. Over the years the park has evolved, with the planting of trees, the creation of footpaths and so on. But like any similar site there have been problems, and constant maintenance is necessary. For this reason a working group, led by Emma Marsh and aided and abetted by her husband David. has been formed.

Our main current task involves the clearing of invasive weeds, primarily nettles and brambles, from an area earmarked for the planting of native wildflowers. The weeds are being removed from the site to decompose elsewhere, with the object of reducing the soil fertility and so discouraging the growth of rank vegetation. It might be thought that rich, fertile soil would be desirable  but this would encourage tall, strong-growing plants to flourish, crowding out smaller, less robust species.
Emma and Dave clearing weeds

The weather has not been our friend but progress is being made and the second photograph shows the ground largely cleared - although the brambles and nettles, given a chance, will re-assert themselves.
We're almost there! Chris and Dave at work
30 March, 2013

Soil quality and fertility can, to some 
extent, be judged by the earthworms present. The value of earthworms is generally acknowledged but the species present are not often recorded. For this reason I kept an eye on any worms revealed. One of the commonest earthworms hereabouts is the Green Worm, Allobophora chlorotica, but none was revealed. However several specimens of Common Earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, were turned up by our spades and trowels. I will continue to record earthworms from the site. The ground is very stony and there is little that can be done about this, but it does give a very free-draining soil and suits us very well.
Common Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris at Byfield
Pocket Park, 30 March, 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment