Ruskin Park Wildlife Garden Upgrade Works

We’ve spent this week in the beautiful Wildlife Garden at Ruskin Park in Camberwell. The amazing spring weather certainly helped, but this garden space is a gorgeous place to spend time in any weather!

The Friends of Ruskin Park asked us to carry out some upgrade works in the garden, so that a new bog area could be developed. Ruskin Park is sited on top of natural springs, which means that the ponds there have never had to be manually topped up, but it also causes some problems – in particular in the wildlife garden which is at the lower end of the park, and gets extremely waterlogged during the winter months. To mitigate against that, FoRP recently employed Froglife to create new scrapes – shallow areas of land that have been dug away and act as water storage, as well as providing a great spot for birds to drink and wash during the summer!

We met with FoRP last month to discuss what other works we could do for them to actually take the problem of the saturated ground and run with it to create even more wetland habitat for wildlife! We decided to change the route of the path that runs to the west of the pond, and take it up onto higher ground, while blocking the lower track from access by humans, thus creating a new bog area, that we will plant up later in the spring.

We created the new path by digging a track out of the ground cover grass, and filling with woodchip as a temporary fixture until the track becomes well trodden by visitors and the woodchip is no longer needed. We built a couple a couple of steps down from the upper path to the pond dipping platform. We also raised the ground level to meet the base of the dipping platform, creating a hibernaculum beneath while we were at it!

We redirected the bridge over the small stream, to encourage people to walk the new path, and we planted some loosestrife at either end of the new bog area – we’re hoping this grows tall and discourages people from walking through here.

While we were working in the garden, the team from Lambeth Landscapes also joined us for a day – they did a big clear out of overgrown plants in the pond itself, as well as cutting out bramble from the perimeter of the garden.

We are now working with FoRP to write content for a new lectern at the entrance to the wildlife garden, so that visitors will be able to understand each of the habitats, and learn about which wildlife they support.

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