Dates for your diary:
Our next Workdays will be on:
Saturday 29 April
We start at 9.30am and meet on the bridge in the middle of the park that leads into the arboretum. New volunteers are always welcome – children must be accompanied by an adult. You can just turn up on the day or phone 533480 for further details.
R.S.P.B. Big Garden Birdwatch in January
Blackbirds, Blackcap, Black Headed Gulls, Blue tits, Carrion Crows, Chaffinches, Coal tit, Dunnock, Goldfinches, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tits, Greenfinch, Green woodpecker, Jay, Kingfisher, Long Tailed Tits, Magpies, Mallards (41), Mistle Thrushes, Moorhens, Robins, Sparrowhawk, Wood Pigeons Wrens
The new flower bed in the park is now in progress.
Regular visitors to the park will have noticed recent changes to the flower bed near the Church Lane entrance. Several years ago Gloucester City Council teamed up with the Bee Guardian Foundation to increase habitat for bees across the city. This involved creating “urban wildflower meadows” – swathes of pollen and nectar rich annual flowers – along roadside verges and in parks as well as planting many more trees attractive to pollinators. The Friends of Barnwood Arboretum took over the care of the newly created flower bed in Barnwood Park after the first year and have continued to re-seed and weed it each year.
Recently we came to the conclusion that we could extend the season for pollinators by using (mainly) perennial plants. We hope that it will also be attractive to park visitors for a longer period. Initially we were planning to base our choice of plants on the RHS Perfect for Pollinators plant list. This is a huge list and we were still struggling to work out where to start when two of the Friends came across an interesting flower bed in a park in Tunbridge Wells. This flower bed was part of an experiment by the University of Sussex aimed at putting recommendations of bee and insect friendly garden plants on a firmer scientific basis. We are very grateful to Professor F. Ratnieks of the University of Sussex.
We have now planted up the flower bed thanks to donations of plants from individual Friends. (When removing the old annual flowers we inadvertently disturbed a family of wood mice sheltering amongst the flower stems. Fortunately we were able to help them reach the shelter of the hedge.) The plants are grouped in blocks of the same variety as this is more efficient for pollinators and will hopefully look better. We aim to record what is in flower each week throughout the year and would be delighted to recruit regular visitors to the park to help with this. (If you would like to volunteer please phone Elaine or Ron on 533480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org). The flower bed is surrounded by species crocus which have been flowering successfully in the early spring for 4 or 5 years and are a useful source of early nectar.
We do not expect that we have got everything right at this stage. Some of the plants we have used may be invasive and others may not like the conditions so we shall review and make changes as necessary. Like most flower beds this will be an ongoing project as well as a useful experiment for those of us who want to improve habitat for pollinators in our own gardens.
A new addition which appeared in the park is the Chicken Feast fungus. A larger pic is in the Picture Gallery
This years production by the
Rain or Shine
30th. July at 6.30pm
Over 200 people enjoyed an evening’s entertainment when the Rain or Shine Theatre Company gave a performance of William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' this year.
The weather stayed fine and a very good crowd had a very enjoyable evening, most of whom had brought along a picnic .
We are very proud to announce that we have been awarded the
GREEN FLAG AWARD
A big thank you to everybody who helped us to achieve this award.
As well the Green Flag Award, we are extremely proud to announce that we have been declared as a winner of the
BEES NEEDS AWARD.
This is a new Award that is presented to Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award winning parks and green spaces that have made improvements to encourage pollinators. For further information
Chairman of the Friends group Ron Keasley receiving the award from Deputy leader of the City council, Jennie Dallimore with Barnwood Councillor Lisa Noakes & FoBA Peter Curle.
Check out our tree carving page
Wildlife Pond .
is now completed.
Unfortunately it has developed a leak. The manufacturers and the contractors are trying to find out why and for the best way to solve the problem.
See the Home page for update
See our new page
Grazing in the arboretum
The sheep have now gone to a field in Hempstead ready for lambing in April.
First lambs to be born from our new flock were twins,
The new 'trash' screen at the weir.
Again this year, Children from the Buttons Kindergarten in Barnwood had a fun afternoon sowing native British wildflower seeds in a special flowerbed that has been built on top of an insect hotel in Barnwood Arboretum. The planting of these wildflowers is part of the “Grow Wild” project in conjunction with the BBC Countryfile team. Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Grow Wild is an exciting four-year programme that will bring people together to sow UK native wild flowers. Grow Wild believes that together we can transform and bring colour to where we live: turning unloved spaces into wildlife-friendly wild flower havens.
Children from Buttons Kindergarten standing in front of the daffodils they planted by the Church Road entrance to the park.
You may be interested to know that a little egret was seen fishing in the brook (by the big outfall) over several days in June. If it comes back you won't miss it because it is so white.
Picture taken by The Brignalls
Recently a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers have been seen flying in the arboretum, with any luck they may nest locally.
The sighting of any of the woodpeckers has been on the rare side recently, so it's nice to see this pair.
The kingfisher has been sighted by quite a lot of people lately.