Re-wilding

Re-wilding is about creating the conditions for nature to develop and thrive by re-establishing natural processes to provide a sustainable future for biodiversity. For the Parish, this will mean how we manage the roadside verges, grasslands and meadows, hedgerows, woodlands, ponds and other wetland areas within the numerous parks and open spaces found within the parish boundary.

Wildflower areas, such as the example shown below, require a minimum of a single cut every year, with all the cuttings being removed from site in order to decrease the fertility of the soil and the vigour of the grasses in order to promote wildflower species.

We also undertake various other work as required to further enhance wildlife habitats which may include cutting back overgrown vegetation, clearance of water courses and pond margins, coppicing, and the provision of deadwood habitat stacks. We may also amend our routine maintenance regimes in order to enhance re-wilding areas.

Rewilding Areas

The Parish have identified a number of grassland areas and verges that have the potential to develop into wildflower areas. These areas have been taken out of routine maintenance and managed for biodiversity with an annual grass cut and clear regime carried out in late summer. These areas are:

  • Buckhurst Fields
  • Croft Wood Meadows
  • GWR Park
  • Marlborough Lane
  • Marlborough Road / Scotby Avenue
  • Lowry Way (Marlborough Park)
  • Pipers Way
  • Ripon Way (Queens Drive)
  • Sandringham Road Open Space
  • Savernake St Recreation Ground
  • Shaftesbury Avenue
  • Shrivenham Rd (Magic Roundabout)

Designated re-wilding areas have been identified with a timber post along with the Parish Council logo and the re-wilding Bee sign to acknowledge that the area is being pro-actively managed and maintained by the Parish Council for biodiversity.

Some of the re-wilding areas have already shown good natural re-generation of wildflower species with several species of orchids found.

Volunteering

Volunteers are important in assisting the Parish staff with the maintenance of re-wilding areas, helping with the raking up of the cuttings, removal of invasive “weed” species as well as monitoring and recording sites.

Tiny Forest

Swindon’s first Tiny Forest was planted in March 2021 at the East Wichel Park by the Parish Council in partnership with Earthwatch Europe and BMW Mini Electric. A second Tiny Forest was planted in March 2022 at Buckhurst Field in partnership with Earthwatch, Nationwide Building Society and Vaillant UK.

Tiny Forests are a style of tree planting that plants trees densely together – with 600 native trees planted within a tennis court size plot. This planting method encourages accelerated forest development, is rich in biodiversity and is ideal for urban environments where there is less green space for tree planting.

There are lots of advantages to having a Tiny Forest

  • They provide a useful resource for teaching children about climate and biodiversity
  • More trees mean more carbon captured and Tiny Forests are a great choice for urban environments
  • They provide opportunities for people to spend more time with nature and communities to come together to plant trees, and help to capture valuable data on carbon capture, biodiversity, flood management and local temperatures.

For more information about Earthwatch Tiny Forest’s, please visit: https://earthwatch.org.uk/get-involved/tiny-forest

If you need some help please call us on 01793 317410 or e-mail admin@southswindon-pc.gov.uk