Happy New Year to all our plotters, volunteers and friends of GFAA. Good growing to you all in 2022!
I think this short, but powerful article will be of interest to all. It certainly got me thinking. Available via this link.
This short video celebrates some of the wildlife species with whom we share Garthdee Field Allotments.
Photo credits and thanks go to:
If I have missed anyone off this list please let me know in the comments below and I will fix that. More photos or videos would be very welcome of course. There has never been a better time to celebrate the biodiversity of our site.
Thanks to Paul (Plot 34) and Phil (Plot 35) for passing on these photos.
The story appears to be that the Sparrow-hawk was taking stock of its new surroundings after snacking on an unsuspecting Blackbird. Phil reports he was a very messy eater and not too bothered to tidy up afterwards either.
Thanks go to Phil (Plot 57) for making the photo available – and congratulations too for his quick reactions!
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.