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.
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’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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 a glorious day .. the Car Boot Sale was a great success, there were children’s amusements, displays and all sorts of refreshments available – and guess what … everyone finally got to have a family picnic 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.
It was a lovely day – hope you enjoyed it …Picnic in the Park 2014
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.
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.