For a couple of weeks the Nature’s Gym volunteers worked in Firhill Road Allotments. The plan was to clear an area at the front of the site to make a wildlife area and a place for allotment holders to have a seat and relax. The volunteers also cleared some of the planters with a view to potentially allowing a school group to do some food growing. Nothing it set in stone yet and there is still a lot of work to do, be we still spent a happy few hours digging and hoeing, cutting and clearing. It is very satisfying seeing the result of our work and then being able to sit down and enjoy a cuppa in the newly cleared seating area!
The new Nature’s Gym programme is now available! There are a few new sites on there and a couple of favourites, so hopefully there is something for everyone. Please note that if you have not been before, have a read through our FAQ to see if this is the right project for you. Here you will also find out what you need to do to take part in one of our events. You can also have a look at the Nature’s Gym page where you will find a lot more information. If you still have questions about the project, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.
Bridgehouse Meadows is a small site tucked away near John Williams Close. It may not look like much but it does have lots of interesting flora and fauna on site. The Nature’s Gym volunteers have work there a few times and for 2 session in April and May the set to work building a bug hotel and a hibernaculum. This wasn’t our first attempt at creating either a bug hotel or a hibernaculum, but it was certainly the deepest and biggest so far.
It took two sessions to get through the layers of rubble, clay and flint and goodness knows what else(!), but we eventually made our hole big enough (3ms long) and deep enough (about 900mm)! Once the hole was dug we filled it with bricks being careful to remember to add tubing to allow for the reptiles to escape and finally added branches on top. It is always tempting to see if anything has moved in, but we know that we have to leave it well alone.
The other volunteers got to work creating the bug hotel from bits of brick, rubble and logs found on site, while others created a smaller hibernaculum on the other side of the site with cuttings that had been left on site.
Bernard would be proud!
The Nature’s Gym volunteers spent two weeks at a homeless shelter run by SHP to help them ‘green up’ their garden and make it more wildlife friendly. SHP were lucky enough to win some funding from the Blackheath Ward Assembly to help them buy the materials and plants for their project, but they asked if Nature’ Gym could help them with the planting, building and clearing. We were happy to help and so got to work!
One of the first things we did was to clear the ivy and other overgrown vegetation from the Anderson Shelter which is in the garden. One of our volunteers remembers using his when he was little!
We planted whips, built a bug hotel, put up and bird filter and with help from the guys at Glendale, built some raised beds. It is hoped that some of the residents will look after the raised beds and learn how to grow and cook their own vegetables.
SHP kindly thanked us for our work with a pizza and we all ate it while watching Great tits using the bird feeder we had only put up an hour before!
The April-June 2017 Nature’s programme is now available. There are plenty of exciting projects over the next few months, including the 3 Rivers Clean Up. As always, booking is essential for these sessions. If you are new to Nature’s Gym, take a look through our FAQ and How to Get Involved pages for more information. If there is anything that you are still unsure of, please feel free to email us any questions.
Hi all, unfortunately, we have had to change the location for tomorrow’s (2 March 2017) Nature’s Gym. Instead we shall be working at Lower Sydenham Station. Hopefully, we can go back to Belmont Park and finish our work there another time.
Please look for Lower Sydenham Station on this document for details of how to get there.
See you tomorrow.
Towards the end of October, volunteers with Nature’s Gym and the Friends of Hither Green Triangle worked in the Nature reserve between platforms 4 and 5 of Hither Green Station. This is a little known about and hidden away site, but is full of lots of interesting wildlife.
The Friends and volunteers have been working on this site for a long time and a lot of great work has been achieved. On this work day we worked with a local contractor to clear the bank near platform 5 so that commuters and other travellers can peep in to the site. They also did another huge litter pick – one of the on going problems of the site.