Last Thursday Andrew Chan from Orchard Park Community Council showed members of the Youth Group how to set up self watering pots to sow seeds. Sunflowers, and wildflowers for pollinators were planted, along with cucumber and sweetcorn for people.
Once the seeds are sprouting, they’ll be moved to the new raised beds which will be installed at the Orchard Community Centre soon. We hope lots of locals will get involved with tending the beds which will grow flowers and food plants. We’ve had funding kindly donated for the beds by the Orchard Park Community Council, tools we need to look after them by Education Services 2010 and Young People’s Workers from the Council are leading the activities.
Over the summer we will be doing a series of sessions to create a home for pollinators, and to make and plant the raised beds. We’d really like you to join us if you’re aged between 10 and 17 years old at the following sessions at the Orchard Community Centre:
Monday 31st July from 2pm to 4pm – Making a Bug Hotel
Thursday 17th August from 3.30pm to 5pm – creating and painting the beds
Thursday 24th August from 3.30pm to 5pm – creating and planting the beds
In the meantime for folks of any age, do get in touch if you’d like to help, learn, or have gardening knowledge to share 🙂
Bees and butterflies are declining due to habitat loss amongst other reasons, so it is important to do whatever we can to help. Click the link below to see a video on pollinators by Butterfly Conservation Plant Pots for Pollinators Video from Butterfly Conservation.
Using things like yoghurt pots is great way to repurpose, and these self watering planters provide everything the seeds need to get going. Coir dehydrated compost disks were rehydrated, a wick made from kitchen cloth was threaded through the holes in the small plant pot, and a few centimetres of water put in the bottom of the yoghurt pot – the kitchen cloth pulls the water into the pot to water the seedling. Coir dehydrated compost is an environmentally friendly choice because it is peat free (see why go peat free) for more info on coir see: Eden Communities Gardening
Last night around 30 people, mainly from Nightingale Volunteer Gardeners, assembled to meet and greet the team doing the Eden Project’s #GreatBigWalk. The walkers are winding their way through the UK heading home and working up an appetite in time for the #GreatBigLunch. Eden Communities aims to “connect people and communities, encouraging everyday people to make positive change where they live.” There certainly was a lot of good community spirit, as well as delicious home made food, in the amazing garden, not far from Addenbrookes @CB1 8SQ, last night. I’m sure Orchard Park Wildlife Project ‘up north’ can learn a thing or two about as we embark with our Community Council on our raised beds and community gardening journey. Nightingale Garden has a wildlife pond, lots of lovely wildflowers as well as food plants.
Nightingale Volunteer Gardeners are a “community gardening group for RHS-affiliated Queen Edith’s in Bloom”. Anyone ‘down south’ wishing to join them, or willing to travel down south, they meet Sunday and Monday afternoons 2-4, with ‘Gardeners tea at 3’, you can go along for however long you like. For information see: www.nightingalegarden.org.uk or contact Rebecca (volunteer) 07792 531 400.
All of these amazing animals (and a pretty poppy) have been seen around Orchard Park, and all but the bat and moth photographs were taken here. If you spend a moment stopping and looking, you’ll be surprised at what you see. Join us late afternoon/early evening on Sunday 9 July to search for our local wildlife in our annual urban Summer Safari. Tim and Carol Inskipp will be there again kindly sharing their wealth of wildlife knowledge and Cambridge Mammal Group will show us any mammals they might find earlier in the day. Orchard Park Wildlife Project will provide wildlife guide books and ID sheets, but if you have a bird book and binoculars feel free to bring them along. The event will be free, fun and informative, as well as accessible and suitable for all ages and abilities (children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult). As well as meeting the local wildlife it will give you an opportunity to meet new folks from your neighbourhood. Meet at 5.30pm outside the Travelodge Hotel. Join us for as long or as little as you like.
The Summer Safari will be part of Cambridge Wild’s month of activities. All new wildlife records will be shared with Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Environmental Records Centre (CPERC).
Thank you so much to the Eden Project Community Camp for a wonderfully inspirational weekend.
In their words (see Eden Project Communities for more):
“Our aim is to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping to build more resilient and better connected communities.
Eden supports and encourages people all over the UK to take positive actions that strengthen local connections and build stronger communities.
We bring people together to build their confidence and grow and share their talents. We support individuals and communities as they create positive change to tackle local issues that matter to them most…..
……Through Community Camp events, experiences and access to engaging resources, the Eden Project supports ordinary people to do everyday things that create extraordinary results. Through small and simple actions, people transform the places where they live and strengthen communities across the UK.”
Orchard Park Wildlife Project was delighted to be accepted to attend the Community Camp to be able to spend the weekend with such inspirational folks. We were all spoiled rotten, learned lots of new skills, sent away with many useful resources, and having met a great group of people to keep in contact and collaborate with to help our ideas grow 🙂
The map, which was created by artist in residence Isabella Martin as part of her You Are Here project, has been installed by Kettles Yard this afternoon at the Orchard Community Centre. Go along and have a look. See if you can see Orchard Park and how it has been represented by local people. The map is interesting, funny and informative. We’ve got plans for the wildlife tiles which were also created at our event with Kettles Yard artists at the Orchard as part of the project. Watch this space. Many thanks to all at Kettles Yard, we enjoyed working with you.
For more information on the project which culminated in the map, tiles and wider exhibition see: Lush, Art, Apples, Wildlife Maps, & Bats.
We had lots of visitors to the Cambridge Wild stall on Saturday with many interesting conversations concerning such matters as the best locations for bug hotels, how to grow your own tomatoes and where and how to volunteer for wildlife activities. Importantly, we asked people to make a pledge to help wildlife and the environment. We hope everyone got their pledge passports stamped and counted at reception in the David Attenborough Building, and look forward to hearing how many positive actions were promised. The slogan for the event was: BECOME INSPIRED, LEAVE EMPOWERED Please do as you pledged
Orchard Park Wildlife Project enjoyed being there as part of Cambridge Wild, along with Cambridge Natural History Society; many thanks to Rebecca Jones and Monica Frisch from the respective organisations for setting up a great stall and inviting us along.
Adapted from the Cambridge Conservation Forum website: Conservation is too often seen as a crisis discipline, and one in which bad news dominates. Although we are facing huge challenges, there are many positive stories where conservation and other sectors have made a difference to people’s lives and to the status of wild nature.
A summit which will reframe the conservation movement by celebrating positive thinking in conservation, and putting forward a road map for change towards an optimistic and forward-thinking future begins today.
Lasting 3 days in all, with two days at Dulwich College in Oxford and then one day at ZSL London Zoo, a twin event is also taking place in Cambridge hosted by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative focussing on public outreach and citizen engagement. The summit is part of a global launch to further promote the #Earthoptimism network.
Organisers really want as many people to participate in this event as possible, from academics to students, people working in the arts, to people from the business and public policy sectors who want to promote all the great work that is being done to support nature.
Orchard Park Wildlife Project will be at the David Attenborough Building, Pembroke St, Cambridge, on Saturday from 11.00 as part of the Cambridge Wild network in the ‘Walk on the wild side – connecting people to nature’ part of Going Wild Solutions Fair.
The Fair is divided into four themes, each of which addresses an aspect of daily life. Within each theme visitors will be able to take part in activities relating to that theme, ask questions, and pledge to make positive changes in their lives.
There no advanced booking for the Solutions Fair: everyone is welcome, so please come along to immerse yourself in what promises to be an uplifting, inspirational and action-packed day.
Buying Smart: reuse, recycle and repair
In this zone visitors will be able to bring clothes to swap, take a fresh look at recycling, learn where their purchases come from, and what the real price of plastic is. This zone will also include a free repair café, so visitors are encouraged to bring their broken bits and pieces, giving these items a second chance and preventing them from ending up in landfill. Stallholders include Amey Cespa, M&S, Circular Cambridge, Pukka Herbs, TRAFFIC, John Lewis, FSC, RSPB, Fauna & Flora International, and Cambridge Repair Café.
Bright Ideas: lowering your carbon footprint
Here visitors will be able to learn how to tread lightly by lowering their carbon footprint through, for example, green energy and sustainable travel, as well as carbon offsetting. Stallholders include Cambridge Carbon Footprint, World Land Trust, Cool Earth, and Transition Cambridge.
Eating Well: learning about a sustainable diet
This theme aims to dispel the myths around food and the environment, and gets to the nitty gritty of what a sustainable diet really is. Stallholders include Marine Conservation Society, WOUP, Cambridge Food Cycle, WRAP, Cambridge Sustainable Food, Hodmedods, and Hotel Chocolat.
In the Going Wild theme, visitors will see how easy it is to get into nature and what they can do to help wildlife, from hedgehogs to bees. Stallholders include National Trust, Natural England, The Wildlife Trusts, British Ecological Society, Cambridge Wild, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, University of Cambridge Botanic Garden, Roots & Shoots, and Brighton high school.
In addition to the four themes, the top floor of the David Attenborough Building will be given over to the environment and the arts, with poetry readings, writing workshops, bird therapy and more, providing the perfect space to come and relax during the #EarthOptimism Solutions Fair.
The Solutions Fair runs concurrently with the Stories of Hope programme in the Babbage Lecture Theatre on the same day.
From the Cambridge Wild website:
What is Cambridge Wild?
- A programme of wild places – and wildlife-related events in July in Cambridge. We especially like them to be free to access for all ages and abilities. We don’t currently have any funds to support these but can help promote them and, maybe, find extra volunteers (see below).
- An informal network of people and groups interested in wild spaces, wildlife and how people interact with them – we are based in and around Cambridge and most of us are volunteers (see below).
- A portal to other resources (see below). Two-page summary list to print.
Programme of events in July 2017
We are still working on this but might have a bit of a ‘pollinator’ focus this year. In the meantime, this is what we have gathered:
- Cambridge Botanic Garden are working on their summer events programme now
- Cambridge Natural History Society – have a visit to Wandlebury on 5 July and a Field study at Coldham’s Common on 20 July (events page)
- Friends of Cherry Hinton Brook will do one or more nature walk(s) along the brook (dates to be arranged)
- Nightingale garden – we hope to do a bat walk and overnight moth trap (probably Friday 7 and Saturday 8 July) and maybe some other mini-beast hunting, tree trail or pond-related activities. We might do something at Wulfstan Way shops too – depending on how the new raingardens are doing.
- Orchard Park – will do a wildlife safari (8 July – activities page)
- Wildlife Trust – Cambridge Local Group: East Pit glow-worm survey – Weds 26 July from 10.15pm
- Wildlife Trust around Cambridge are working on their June+ events programme at the moment
- Wildlife Trust and Scudamores: Bat punt safaris – Friday evenings from May to September (really good!). There is a charge for this but it benefits the Trust.
All of the nest boxes are gone. Many thanks to the Community Council for funding them and to Scotsdales for providing free delivery. Do post pictures to show where your bird boxes have been placed around Orchard Park 🙂
For advice on where to put them click here
Many thanks for all the help setting up, running and taking the stall down too!
Wednesday 29 March 17:00 – 19:30 hrs
The Orchard Community Centre, Central Avenue, Orchard Park, Cambridge, CB4 2EZ
Cambridgeshire Constabulary are holding a crime prevention event at Orchard Park community centre to highlight security improvements that residents can make to protect their homes and reduce opportunist crime.
Officers and staff will be available to provide advice and information. A senior officer will be providing a crime prevention seminar at 6.30p.m.
There will also be security products available at a discounted rate, as well as information about property registration and coding.
Neighbourhood teams will be patrolling and visiting local streets, to increase security awareness.
Please come along to find out more (Source: https://southcambscops.org/2017/03/22/op-hunter-security-event-orchard-park/)
Orchard Park Wildlife Project will be there to advise on plants that can help with security at the same time as being beneficial to wildlife – idea by Kate Parsley.
Plants recommended for their defensive properties on the Crime Prevention Website that also benefit wildlife
Shrubs and small trees
Please note the top of the table is not showing all of the information. Scroll down to the link for a PDF complete version
|Plant and defence grade (1st-3rd)1||Defensive Properties1||Flowers / berries||Height1, type, and how to plant||Wildlife benefits|
|All Berberis are spiny and make excellent barrier hedges||Deciduous varieties have good autumn colour, flowers April-May, has berries2||3m Best planted in a group with other shrubs. An evergreen, it prefers full sun and a moist soil, growing slowly2||Food and shelter
B. thunbergii can provide berries into autumn and winter2
Birds are attracted to the berries, whilst the thorns provide a barrier for safe nesting sites2
|Japonica, Japanese Quince
|A thorn-bearing shrub with white flowers that is often wall trained||Attractive red or orange spring flowers which are followed by sizeable yellow fruit3||2m A thorny, spreading shrub that can be allowed to do its own thing. Will tolerate some shade3||Food: flowers and berries3
Birds eat fruit and use dense branches as protection and nest sites.
Flowers attractive to bees and bumblebees3
Provides nectar and pollen for solitary bees4
(1 extremely effective)
Crataegus prunifolia a compact variety
(1 extremely effective)
|Ideal hedge barrier, thorny and dense||White flowers in late spring followed by bright red berries5||7+m Tolerates a wide variety of conditions, including polluted and exposed sites5A||Food and shelter5
Blackbird, Bluetits, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Crows, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Robin, Starlings, Waxwings etc feed on berries5
Black Veined White Butterfly caterpillar food plant. Flowers also visited by adult butterflies seeking nectar: Brimstone, Chinese Character, Grey Dagger, Lackey, Lappet, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Light Emerald, Mottled Beauty, Mottled Pug, Swallowtailed, Vapourer and Yellow-tail Moth food plant. Small Eggar Moth food plant when hedges left untrimmed in summer5
Host to innumerable insects5
Small mammals e.g. mice, bank voles and foxes take berries5
(2 very effective defense)
|Ideal for barrier plantings||Male and female flowers are on separate shrubs; for a female shrub to produce berries, it must be pollinated by a male growing nearby6||2m Grows in any soil and copes well with full sun or shade6||Food and shelter6
Bees and bumblebees collect its nectar and pollen.
Caterpillars of the holly blue butterfly eat buds and flowers.
Birds: Thrushes, Robins, Dunnocks, finches etc. use it for nesting as it provides excellent protection.
Blackbirds, thrushes etc. eat berries.
Hedgehogs, small mammals, toads and slow worms hibernate in deep leaf litter that builds up beneath it6
(2 very effective defense)
|Low growing shrub with spiny leaves||Clusters of bright yellow flowers are produced in spring, followed by spherical, blue-black berries7||1.5m Vigorous, suckering shrub that can cope with most soils and thrive in shady spots where many other plants succumb7||Food7
Nectar and pollen may be taken by Blackcaps, Bluetits and House Sparrows. Berries eaten by Blackbirds and Mistle Thrushes7
Excellent early-flowering nectar source for bees and bumblebees.
Bright-line Brown-eye, Cabbage and Peppered Moth caterpillar food plant7
|New Zealand Holly
(3 effective defense)
|Shrub for exposed sites, with silver-toothed leaves||Clusters of white, fragrant, daisy-like flowerheads8||1.5m Sun-loving plant which is hardy in warmer parts of the country. It tolerates wind, and do well in towns8||Food8
Flowers are attractive to bees and many species of fly8
(1 extremely effective)
|Excellent dense defensive shrub or small tree.||Snowy white blossom appears in very early spring before the leaves and is followed in late autumn by the purplish-black fruits10||1.8m Very tough and tolerant of most soils and situations, including wet, exposed sites10||Food and Shelter9
Flowering, blackthorn provides a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bees in spring. Its foliage is a food plant for the caterpillars of many moths, including the Lackey, Magpie, Common Emerald, Small Eggar, Swallow-tailed and Yellow-tailed. Also used by Black and Brown Hairstreak butterflies.
Birds nest among the dense, thorny thickets, eat caterpillars and other insects from the leaves, and feast on the berries in autumn9
(2 very effective defense)Dog RoseRosa caninaField rose
Rosa arvensisIt is illegal to plant Rosa rugosa in the wild or allow it to ‘escape’!11
|Dense and thorny vegetation||Flowers||2-9m dependent on variety. Old-fashioned varieties are fragrant and disease-resistant11||Food and flowers11
Hybrid tea roses, are also useful addition11
Fruits popular with birds.
Wide range of insects attracted to the flowers including bees and butterflies11
(1 extremely effective)
|Superb barrier shrub||Small yellow flowers12||1.5m Grows well on poor dry soils1||Food and shelter12
Nest sites for birds, important for invertebrates12
Refuge for birds in harsh weather. In flower for long periods – an important nectar source in early spring and early winter, when little else is in flower12
Idea by Kate Parsley, Chair, OPWP
Please note some of the information at the top of the table is obscured due to the automatic layout of the webpage. To see a full PDF version of the table, click here: table summarised