The best way to create homes for nature is by introducing suitable plants and habitats for different types of wildlife to use. Small invertebrate animals are an essential type of wildlife. Everything from Earthworms, Woodlice and Beetles to the Bees, Butterflies and Moths all have important roles in nature and are important for the success of wildlife habitats. That's why we have launched a new project within a gated area of grass at Bullfinch Walk on the Arrowfield Estate.
What work is currently being done on the project?
We have started to introduce different types of wildlife features to provide areas for invertebrates to live in and we are soon moving onto creating hedgehog homes and providing features to benefit birds. Local residents have already helped by providing information about the birds which they see around the site.
We are also trying out some new nature-based solutions to one of the problems which occurs on the site. In wet weather, water can collect in some areas. We have decided to make a small, experimental “Rain Garden” feature in one of these areas which has been dug out to allow the water to seep into it. We have planted moisture-loving plants at the bottom of this to drain water and prevent pooling.
We have surrounded the Rain Garden with one of our new “Beetle Banks”. Beetle Banks are mounds where the grass will be allowed to grow long to provide shelter for different types of Beetles. Grasshoppers and other invertebrates will also benefit from these features. We would like to try different ideas at this site and learn about what works best.
What are plans for this site in future?
It is intended that in the future this site will be used as an education area for supervised school groups, and an area in which nature-based events can be hosted by our Environmental Team. Some residents have direct access onto this site from their gardens and the Groundwork Team listened to their ideas before starting work on the site. We are aiming to create a community space which is a lovely space for people to enjoy.
Who is delivering this project?
The local community consultation process and first stage of the biodiversity improvement work has been delivered by Groundwork Greater Manchester as part of a wider Green Recovery Challenge fund project. Southway’s Environmental Team have worked alongside the Groundwork staff and local volunteers to create areas for wildflowers and native shrubs.
How can I get involved?
We would like to invite volunteers to get involved with creating this new community wildlife space. Families and adults are very welcome to join in but we ask children to be accompanied please.
If you would like to know more about the plants which we are introducing and any of the wildlife habitat features please contact Debbie Wallace, Urban Ranger by email email@example.com