Thanks go to Phil (Plot 57) for making the photo available – and congratulations too for his quick reactions!
Tag: biodiversity Page 1 of 2
GFAA recently submitted a proposal to Aberdeen City Council for a project to enhance the biodiversity of our site. I am delighted to say that ACC have enthusiastically encouraged us to go ahead. Read on for more details.
We propose to develop the under-used area positioned in the North-West corner of our site to create a wildlife-friendly habitat which will enhance the biodiversity of the local area. The area chosen was created when the contractors constructing the Pitfoddel’s Station Road pedestrian track and cycleway deposited waste materials (mainly rock and sub-soil) in the corner of our site. The resulting raised area (which we have named, “The Mound” is unsuitable for vegetable cultivation and has remained unused for many years.
The development will include some of the features listed below, the exact number will be dependent on the availability of space and suitable locations. (Where features cannot be incorporated into The Mound suitable alternative locations on the Garthdee Field site will be sought.
• Native flowers and shrubs
• Log piles
• Bug hotels
• A wildlife pond
• A wildflower area
• Nest boxes
• Bat boxes
• Hedgehog huts
• Squirrel feeders
• Bumble bee nest boxes.
Projects to encourage biodiversity were recommended in our recent Green Flag Assessment and this development will strengthen future Green Flag applications.
The creation of a larger habitat will enable greater variety of species to utilise the area than would be possible in the fragmented small-scale areas developed by individual plot holders.
The habitat created will provide a valuable learning setting for visiting primary pupils and youth groups.
The intended features will be attractive and beneficial to pollinators, birds, amphibians, hedgehogs, insects, bats and many other species.
Development and maintenance of the mound will deliver engagement opportunities working with nature over a wide range of skill sets for members of site’s volunteer group.
Creation of The Mound and its subsequent population by wildlife may act as a stimulus to other plotters to develop areas within their own plots thereby increasing the overall habitat availability on the site.
The Mound Project will be led by Steve Jennings, the GFAA Committee Member charged with responsibility to lead and coordinate our efforts to enhance the biodiversity of our site. In the first instance we will fund work from our GFAA income and reserves, but we may seek external funding in the future.
The area will be maintained by our resident Volunteer Squad and/or interested plotters as coordinated by Steve Jennings.
Health and Safety
The area is already fenced on 3 sides and a new fence and gate will be constructed to manage public access. Visits by external groups will be supervised by a member of the GFAA Committee.
All works will be completed in accordance with Aberdeen City Council’s policies and procedures and in alignment with GFAA’s Volunteers’ Health and Safety Policy.
Visits by external groups will be risk assessed and monitored.
Steve Jennings will be delighted to receive ideas for development or offers of help, or to provide further information on the project as it progresses.
Thanks go to Ruth (Plot 22) and Graeme (Plot 48) for providing these charming photos.
If you have any other wildlife photos to share I’d love to have them for the site, or you could post them to the Garthdee Allotment’s FaceBook page. The more the merrier.
A team of our volunteers started work on a new wildlife pond up on the Mound last Sunday.
Adding the pond is one of several initiatives to encourage biodiversity on site being lead by Steve (Plot 72) on behalf of the Committee and our plotters and volunteers. Other features planned for the Mound include log piles and bug hotels. Recycled materials will be used wherever possible.
If plotters or volunteers have ideas for further projects to enhance biodiversity in our green communal spaces and across the site please get in touch with Steve directly, or by commenting below. He would love to hear from you.
This is the title of a newish book (2019) by Dave Goulson, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex. It’s subtitled, “Gardening to Save the Planet” and that pretty well tells you what to expect.
This is no dull textbook however. It’s a lively read and full of unexpected and practical ideas as well as lots of good humour.
I was surprised to read for example, that the Oxford Junior Dictionary has removed the words, newt, acorn, minnow, kingfisher and dandelion. Why? Because these words are no longer considered relevant for children.
It seems to me this is a mistake on so many levels, it’s almost criminal.
Amazon Link if you want to know more.
This month’s Keep Scotland Beautiful and It’s Your Neighbourhood e-newsletter has an interesting article on why it’s perhaps a good idea to find a wee spot for a nettle patch on our plots, or elsewhere around the site perhaps.
The Council now encourages us to promote bio-diversity around the site and allowing a nettle patch to establish can be a good and easy starting point. You might want to give careful thought to where you put it mind you.
Nettles are great for balancing out your home-made comfrey tea liquid fertiliser as well. A recent Beechgrove Garden experiment showed that these two in combination made for a more successful tomato feed than commercially available chemical feeds.
I’m told that nettles have many uses in the kitchen too, but, I have to be honest I have yet to put this to the test myself. Can any one share some suggestions?
Funny the way things happen. I posted this and popped into Youtube and found this had been posted up only today.