Spring 2017 Blossoms

So far ( May 2017) it has been a great blossom year – the early Spring bulbs were over  very quickly – the snowdrops, crocuses etc.but the daffodils and the white cherry blossom has been a joy.

The daffodils scttered round the edge of the park are beginning to form clumps and spread… and these are real english bluebells… enjoy

Park Improvements Summer 2016 – 2017

Wecontinue to add interest to the park – both for people and for wildlife ..

This Summer we have added a Bug Hotel to the facilities for wildlife.

and we are already planning the  new plantings for this Autumn – one or two more  flowering and berry bearing trees in the Park and  some more Spring bulbs. This will be our 5th Winter of adding spring bulbs.

Do you remember  a couple of years back when two  new benches were added to  Holy Ghost Field – unfortunately  installed in the wrong place and subsequently vandalised?

We got the Council to take the remains away but the promise to replace them never materialized ……we have generated enough money  ourselves now to pay for at least one replacement by the Dellwood Path …it  should be in position by the Spring.

 

 

Kempshott Village Hall

Kempshott’s finest village hall lies  behind the shops on Pack Lane – accessed by footpath from the shops or by road  from the main entrance to Stratton Park.

The Village Hall is separate from Stratton Park and is much older, being  established  immediately after WWll when Kempshott was still an outlying village of Basingstoke.

It has its own  playing field as well as many facilities and is the location of the  Noah’s Ark  pre-school nursery.

For  more information and to contact them please see  www.kempshottvillagehall.org

and email:  enquiry@kempshottvillagehall.co.uk

Park Improvements Winter 2015-16

We had  2  projects for  this  Winter season – planting  yet more bulbs and this time a few wild flower plug plants, and  tackling once and for all the  hedgerow at the northern end of the Dellwood hedgerow.

Working through November and December  ( fortunately the weather was very mild) we have planted a host of daffodils and narcissus in various locations and  more crocuses along with some more snowdrops  to  compensate for the loss of the original snowdrop stock which has been declining in recent years.

This year we also had the opportunity to plant  some genuine wild  seed primroses in a shady part of the park. This  mini-project was generously sponsored by  two local residents –  for which  our thanks!

We have  made several attempts over the years to improve the hedgerow by the Dellwood path. Historically some residents in Pitman Close planted and have nurtured  what is now a mature hedgerow –  full of bird nesting and roosting facilities. But the hedgerow is not continuous, and at various places there are gaps which we hope to fill in  with additional high quality  shrub species. At the northern end, the hedge was completely absent , replaced by a series of ash saplings which over the years had grown into a line of ugly and vigorous  trees which were cut back  and regrew each year. Ash cannot be  made into a hedge in any form. With the agreement of the local residents we finally negotiated with the borough grounds maintenance staff for the ask to be removed  or killed off, the  land to be cleared of a lot of accumulated rubbish and for a new hedgerow to be established.

The replanting of the hedge shrubs has started –  more will follow in  the coming months until the planting task is completed. We also hope to add hedgerow wild flowers at the base of the hedgerow – again a bit later  in Spring. At that point  we have to sit back and wait – for Nature to play its part. A wildlife friendly hedge is not something that can be  created over night – it will be 3 -4 years before it is recognisable as a hedge and 10 years before it is a respectable size.

 

 

 

What’s happening in 2014-15 in the Park?

The good news is that  we received an unexpected  donation in October which allowed us to buy more bulbs.These have now been planted at various spots in the park:

-  we have added a new species Anemone Nemorosa – kissing cousin to the aconites – which  hopefully will show  us pale blue flowers by the Pitman Close entrance to the park in the Spring,

-  we have also added  masses of mixed narcissus and daffodils under the trees around the perimeter of the  Main Car Park

We are planning to  hold Picnic in the Park again in June 2015 –  for which planning starts  in earnest in January.

Update on The Hedgerow by the Tennis Courts

We explained the scheme we are working to at the top of the Holy Ghost Field where we cut back the old and decayed  trees  to rejuvenate the hedgerow.

In February and April  we planted  new trees and shrubs helped by  the Kempshott Scouts planting a row of new hazels and hawthorns on both sides of the old hedgerow, and  adding some new young trees to the  area ajoning the hedgerow.

You  can’t keep a good scrambler down!  On the old hedge line the bramble, briar and ivy roots are pushing up new growth with enthusiasm.The new  young hazels and hawthorns have all taken root and are doing well. In the corner of the field.  We  have some daffodils from previous years  which are thriving and  we have added a few  wild flower plugs (mainly  lesser knapweed) which  we had in stock.

We  added  some young hawthorns and birch to the two  big trees  donated by the Council but sadly someone decided to  steal them  a  few weeks later. We will be replacing them this autumn when we will be seeding this triangle of  ground with wildflower seed.

 

 

Spring Bulbs 2014

We had high hopes for a good display of spring flowers this Spring after all the planting  in Autumn last year.

The bulbs did  make a show, each in turn, but despite a mild winter, none of the  blossoms lasted very long – so the impact was muted.

The  Snowdrops  had a good year – particularly  by the dead hedging  on the end of the  hedgerow by the car park. The effect of more light and less competition was magical.

The crocuses appeared but were soon gone –  so we did not event get a good picture this year. The  Winter Aconites  under the limes showed up  over a number of weeks – we counted 50 +  sets of flower –  but  next year they should all come out together  and be  more impressive.

We added  more squills under the trees beside the main car  park but their display was very muted –  they were there – we counted  over 50 sets of flowers but  again we hope that the second year display will be better.

The  good news is the display of daffodils which were in flower from March to the end of April –  a good show.

Daffodils in Stratton Park 2014