Sometimes it feels like this winter is never going to end, just when you think the sun is going to break through, down comes another bucket load of rain. However, in a few weeks the soggy stretches of grassland around the park will show signs of growth, featuring a variety of meadow flowers. Across the city there is a lot going on to increase the potential, schemes such as the new #wildflowersforlondoners which has been started by London National Park City, aims to nurture the rich diversity of our urban wildlife.
Cow parsley in 2016 and (right) riverside meadow 2014, Chinbrook Meadows
FOCM has been working on a small strip of meadow around the Peace Garden. We are trying to encourage a greater diversity of plants here. The first job was to clear some areas and rake over less thickly grassed sections so that we had bare earth to plant in. In Autumn 2017 we scattered some wildflower mix, suitable for clay soils (EM4), onto these prepared areas and raked the seeds in.
In March this year we bought some plug plants; ragged robin, meadowsweet, oxeye daisy and cowslip, and have added them to the cleared areas.
We will be watching carefully as the season progresses, hoping to see some new plants emerging to liven up this meadow.
In spring and summer, volunteers will work along the river bank-side as usual, clearing some of the nettles and brambles to allow other plants some air space. However we don’t want to eradicate them completely, as nettle is a haven for insect life too, seen here covered in Peacock butterfly caterpillars in the park last year.