Allotment Nature Reserve. Part 2

trees and shrubs etc, posts regarding trees,and shrubs
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Moriati
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Allotment Nature Reserve. Part 2

#1

Post by Moriati » December 1st, 2018, 2:00 am

Following on from the introduction on Part 1, I'll lead you along the Central and Western pathways.
Central Pathway.jpg
Central Pathway
A feature of this small Reserve is the maze of pathways, some of which were constructed while the gang worked clearing ahead. Along the way, I have attempted to create as much interest and diversity as possible.
Stag Beetle Hotel 1.jpg
Stag Beetle Hotel 1


Starting at the beginning of the Central Pathway is a log feature created to amuse the children about our largest beetle. The heavy Ash logs were donated by a local tree surgeon, and these are buried 18" - 20" deep. Stag beetles are present locally but I know they are unlikely to be seen. The logs, though, will provide hosting for many other wood boring creatures.
Pond.jpg
Pond
Moving on, we come to our frogs, newts and dragonflys pond. There was already a good-sized depression here caused by the hurricane of 87 so this was opened up and widened and deepened a bit. The liner and a small batch of bare-rooted trees and shrubs were financed by the Bourough.
Elderberry Tree.jpg
Elderberry Tree
The Elderberry tree seen here has been heavily pruned and reduced to create safe clearance space for the walkway. It cannot easily be dated while standing but looks to be from the 1960's era. Given that the trunk is more than 2 metres inside the fence line, it would have been unlikely to have been allowed to grow while it was on someone's plot.
Elderberry Tree and Stag Beetle Hotel 2.jpg
Elderberry Tree and Stag Beetle Hotel 2
Stag Beetle Hotel 2.jpg
Stag Beetle Hotel 2
Continued on next post.

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Moriati
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Re: Allotment Nature Reserve. Part 2

#2

Post by Moriati » December 1st, 2018, 2:40 am

In what could have been a large open space, it was noticed that this area was crouded with Arum maculatum, a mature Lady Fern in one corner and the remaining space has been planted with Hemp Agimony. These have been a magnet for the Holly Blue butterflies, and a number of hoverflies. The fencing was constructed in a hurry and will require improvement.
Triangle.jpg
Triange Bed. Lady Fern, Arum maculatum & Hemp Agrimony
In the corner by the fence line, there is a log graveyard where all the rotten bits of log are stacked, creating a breeding ground for lower forms of life, which in turn keeps the small ground-feeding birds happy.
Log Graveyard.jpg
Log Graveyard
Not eaasily seen in their deciduous state but there is a line of Alder trees to eventually hide the fence, and in front of the trees are Red and green-stemmed Dogwoods which have already been coppiced to provide winter flower rangements for plot holders.
Stag Beetle Hotel 3.jpg
Stag Beetle Hotel 3
Stag Beetle Hotel 4.jpg
Stag Beetle Hotel 4
Two more Beetle hotels spaced out between a collection of Dalek type compost bins.
During the clearance, we attempted to re-use everything possible, but decades of dumping left lots of heavy concrete lumps. These would cost money that is not available, therefore the rubble has been placed in one big hill.
Rubble pile.jpg
Rubble Pile
Finally, a shot of the Western pathway to bring it all together.
Western Avenue.jpg
Western pathway
In the fullness of time, I will give you a tour of the enclosures between this Western pathway and the Allotments roadway.

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bizzy
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Re: Allotment Nature Reserve. Part 2

#3

Post by bizzy » December 2nd, 2018, 10:21 am

it looks like you have a bit of everything for your wildlife there :)
i like that pile of rubble, and it will provide a home to lots of thing i suspect, as we had a similar pile as a result of some building work on the house,
and when i finally got around to clearing it away, i was amazed at the number of beetles and other things that had made a home in it, including a small Bumblebee nest ! (abandoned , i must add)
so instead of consigning it all to the landfill, i placed a few bits of it in corners around the garden, and now we have a large toad who has made his/her home under an old ridge tile i half buried under one of the conifers,
it may be a load of old rubbish to us, but for the wildlife its a home :D

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jowhitwell
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Re: Allotment Nature Reserve. Part 2

#4

Post by jowhitwell » December 2nd, 2018, 7:57 pm

if old mother nature is given the time, she will convert any of our abandoned and unwanted spaces back to how she wants it,
and if left undisturbed, that pile of old concrete will be transformed into an unrecognizable green covered mound, full of all sorts of wriggly occupants,
i have only to look under any of my outdoor pots to discover all sorts of creepy crawlies have taken up residence underneath them :)

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ashgale
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Re: Allotment Nature Reserve. Part 2

#5

Post by ashgale » December 4th, 2018, 4:48 pm

i wonder how many people realise just what sorts of wildlife can be found in an average back garden these days ?

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Moriati
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Re: Allotment Nature Reserve. Part 2

#6

Post by Moriati » December 5th, 2018, 2:01 am

jowhitwell wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:57 pm
if old mother nature is given the time, she will convert any of our abandoned and unwanted spaces back to how she wants it,
Whilst I agree with the statement, Mother Nature wants it to be one massive pile of brambles 4 metres high. Brambles are actually very good for wildlife, but a forest of them renders the wildlife inaccessible to anybody. Now there is variety and there are still lots of brambles in the hedgerows.

Over the years, I have watched and studied how quickly an abandoned allotment gets taken over by Nature. In the first summer of abandonment, the area becomes covered with various grasses, dandelions, docks, bindweed and various other small weeds. Second year will see the arrival of oak and willow trees, followed by the brambles. Third year sees everything as a complete wilderness with the oaks and brambles starting to dominate. Year four the brambles begin to suffocate the grasses and other weeds, leaving the oaks to relentlessly push their way through and claim the canopy. Thereafter, the plot becomes unusable unless a suitable prospective plot holder has the will to get stuck in.

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