Throughout the year The Royal Parks specialist arboricultural team undertake a condition survey of the trees in the Park to assess the safety and health of the tree stock. Tree work may be specified to individual trees which might be anything from the reduction pruning of individual branches to the felling of diseased, dangerous or dead trees.
Arisings and deadwood from this work is kept in the Park as far as possible. Deadwood, where it presents minimal risk, is retained in tree canopies, as ‘monoliths’ or on the ground as it is an important habitat for many insects, and in turn supports the bird population.
Due to the relatively mild winter we have had so few winter visiting birds to the UK, as they have so far not felt the need to move from the continent or the farmlands of East Anglia. This has meant that the Fieldfare’s are largely absent from the Park, however there have been a number of Redwings. Siskin and Lesser Redpoll may have moved on and the Common/Mealy Redpoll haven’t been seen for a number of years.
If we happen to have some days with clear blue skies, then birds like the Skylark will take to the sky to sing their beautiful song; actually, locating the songster can be very difficult but is worth the challenge. The only black and white woodpecker now seen in Bushy Park is the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, who can be heard drumming.
There is another songster that can be heard and isn’t dependent on fine sunny days; that is the Storm Cock or to give it its common name the Mistle Thrush. Males can be heard singing on the most atrocious of days.
For more bird news check out www.regentsparkbirds.blogspot.com by Tony Duckett.
The Woodland Gardens are undergoing some significant changes this month with the removal of Rhododendron ponticum.
We are removing Rhododendron ponticum to improve biodiversity. Left unchecked the plant will expand into adjacent areas and eliminate the majority of native plant species. The plant is also unpalatable or even toxic to mammals and invertebrates. In addition, Rhododendron ponticum plays host to fungal pathogens which can cause a variety of diseases in our woody plants. The space created by clearance also presents an exciting opportunity to plant more native and exotic trees and shrubs.
Fishers Pond and surrounding streams are being desilted and landscaped to improve water flow and oxygenation. This project is being funded by Mission: Invertebrate and will bring habitat improvements to this area.
Further information can be found on The Royal Parks website or email email@example.com