Our plans are constantly evolving, but this is what we have in mind so far. We would love to have your input, so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below, or email us if you prefer.
As with the avenues of Norway maple, not a lot will thrive around a mature avenue of common lime trees, so our best option here is to plant more spring flowers when there is very little other interest in this area.
If you walk through Glebe Gardens in the centre of town between February and March, you will notice the drifts of winter aconites under the trees by the path from Church Street to the car park. That is what we would like to replicate in Stratton Park, as in this artist’s impression:
We have planted aconite corms under our limes for 2 seasons but the siccessrate has been very poor – back to the drawing board!
Hedgerow at Holy Ghost Field
This hedgerow – which runs alongside the tennis courts – is another old land boundary of at least 200 years, which we can gauge by the beech and oak trees along it. The hedgerow has had very little beneficial maintenance in the last 40 years and is now very thin and weak. It would be a pity if it was to be lost completely. Our plans are:
- to maintain the trees and shrubs on the hedge line as best we can, by removing ivy from the main trees, pruning to regenerate the hedgerow shrubs and avoiding further deterioration of the hedge row by discouraging random walk through;
- to plant a range of shrubs to the immediate south of the original line;
- and to add some perennial wildflowers to the south of that, creating a band of new planting between 2 and 4 meters deep.
There will still be 3 gaps for walking through the hedgerow to the path on the north, allowing passage between the tennis courts and Holy Ghost Field.
These artist’s impressions give an idea of the renovated hedge in early summer, with the hawthorn and crab apple in flower, the hedgerow bushes in leaf and the early wild flowers in bloom:
Replacing the Tree Stock
The Council has already begun work on this very long term project to introduce more deciduous trees and a few evergreens, with the planting of 3 limes, 4 beeches and 2 oaks at various points in the park. These are part of a general tree replacement programme, and have not been planted in isolation but as part of a comprehensive scheme to enrich the fauna of the park – with mixed native trees, flowering and berry-bearing bushes, and flowering plants. Over the next few years we will be adding smaller trees – the likes of rowan, hazel, birch, crab apple, service and hornbeam.
We will be experimenting with meadow flowers in small areas to see which non-grass plants can flourish without assistance. We’ll accomplish this either by introducing flower plugs or by leaving the grass uncut.