The Wildlife Area is Clean :)


This is why it’s important to keep it clean:

Many thanks to those who helped today. As well as litter picking we also removed some of the tree guards that were no longer helpful.

Look out for details of our next activity on 20 March.

Next Activity 21 February 2016 – Wildlife Area Tidy and Hedge Management

poster 21 feb hedge wildlife area

Autumn berries at wildlife area

Berries at the Wildlife Area

Following on from the litter pick last weekend, we would like to spend a bit more time there to finish the tidying job we started. I’ve asked if SCDC can deliver some bags for recycling and litter picker sticks.

We’ll also be focussing on removing some tree guards around OP from trees and hedges. This activity is recommended in the OP Habitats Management Plan “When planted, tree guards were put around many of the trees. These guards are now redundant as the trees are more resilient against rabbit or deer browsing, and should therefore be removed. Likewise the wooden supports around the trees can be removed”.

Orchard Park offers a range of habitats for wildlife, we have grassland, hedges, trees, scrub etc. Where hedges are established they offer great habitat for a range of wildlife including the Dunnock, a bird in decline in the UK which is subject to a Biodiversity Action Plan. As mentioned previously, the little brown bird around OP which most people think is is sparrow, is probably a Dunnock. In the winter, hedges provide berries for birds, and in the summer, they provide food for invertebrates. They also provide ‘corridors’ to allow animals such as the Hedgehog to move around. It is important our hedgerows are managed as well as possible for wildlife. Our activities on 21st will help with this.

We were hoping to be able to do some pruning of the apple trees in the Orchard on 21st February, but this will now be done in March when experts are available.

Please join us on 21st February for as little or long as you can – we’ll meet at the Wildlife Area at 10:00 and depending on how many people there are, all move on, or have a group move around OP working on the hedges. Please phone 07902 454367 to find us.

Yet again, disgusting levels of litter at the Wildlife Area and balancing pond



Rubbish in the Wildlife Area adjacent to the skate park


Some of the litter and recycling collected today in the Wildlife Area and Balancing Pond

I understand the Orchard Park Skate Park has a wide catchment area, so I’m copying this to Histon and Impington Facebook groups, as well as Orchard Park.

Litter is dangerous to wildlife, people, and pets.

It’s unbelievable how quickly litter accumulates in certain areas of Orchard Park. Many thanks to Marysol Preciado-Bell for organising this morning’s litter pick over at the Wildlife Area and adjacent balancing pond. Many thanks also to those who turned up to help.

The worst area, as always, was (and still is despite today’s efforts) in the Wildlife Area right behind the bench where the kids sit eating and drinking. I understand bins were placed there by the Community Council but the kids set them on fire. Disgraceful.

We made a concerted effort to clean this section of the Wildlife Area adjacent to the skate park before Christmas, but the litter was calf deep again only just over a month into 2016.

The cans, bottles and crisp bags are clearly coming over the fence from the skate park.

Other litter sticks around for longer. Polystyrene packing shrimped shaped pieces dumped over at the Wildlife Area won’t biodegrade, and I’ve been picking some of those up for three consecutive years now.

What can we do to stop this happening?

Video the balancing pond after the clean up

Video litter picking at the balancing pond

Video awful levels of litter Orchard Park Wildlife Area



Draft Activity Plan for 2016

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A little later than planned, here is the Draft Activity Plan for Orchard Park Wildlife Project for 2016. We have set dates and some times for activities coming up in the next few months. All activities are based on the recommendations in the Orchard Park Habitats Management Plan written for us by the Wildlife Trust for Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. There is scope to add or change activities, and we hope to build on the helpful collaborations leading to enjoyable events this last year or two. All activities are subject to appropriate approval and sourcing appropriate expertise and equipment. Times and dates may be subject to change, so, please keep an eye on the Orchard Park Wildlife and other Facebook groups, as well as here on the blog and Twitter where final details will be confirmed closer to the date.

We hope there is something for everyone. You’re always welcome to join us for a little or long as you are able whilst we try to help the wildlife on our doorstep from the bees, butterflies and moths, to the hedgehogs, herps and bats.

There are also many national wildlife campaigns taking place again this year:

National campaigns

to name but a few…. We’ll let you know as new dates are released so that you have the information you need to contribute to local and national wildlife conservation efforts through citizen science.

If there is an activity that you’d like to do but don’t see, then please get in touch, we’d like to hear from you.

Looking forward to doing our bit again for the wildlife of Orchard Park 🙂