August News ....

Eastfield Park's Lowland Meadow ....

In 2008, Rachel Tate and Nathalie Hueber from the local Wildlife Trust investigated the grasslands in Eastfield Park and identified a ‘species rich area’ lying south-west of the Lake extending west beyond the MUGA. Many of the plants in this area were characteristic of herb-rich neutral grassland with some calcareous (limestone) influence; not surprisingly, other plants were low growing species characteristic of mown grassland. There was also a ‘potentially species rich area’ south of the Lake but mainly to the west of Mallard Walk. Together, these two areas are now shown on County Council habitats maps as ‘lowland meadow habitat’.

In modern times, over 95% of Britain’s lowland meadows have been lost, largely as a result of measures designed to increase agricultural productivity including ploughing, drainage, early mowing and the use of fertilisers and herbicides. Remaining meadows are often dominated by perennial rye grass with few wild flowers or other grasses. The areas of lowland meadow within Eastfield Park therefore have a high conservation value and are worth managing in a sensitive manner.

This year, a small part of the species-rich area was ‘set aside’ and left unmown throughout spring and summer. (The set-aside area also extended into an area shaded by trees that was not so rich in species.) The Wildlife Trust’s Matt Johnson and Nathalie Hueber examined the area in August and recorded an impressive list of eight grasses and nineteen wildflowers (see below for a full list). Several of the species (shown in bold) indicate good quality species-rich grassland.

Dwarf Thistle (Cirsium acaule)-comp
Bedstraw-comp
Selfheal-comp
Burnet Saxifrage Pimpinella saxifraga-comp

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE FOR A LARGER CLEARER VIEW WITH CAPTION.

All pictures were taken in the set-aside area
in July/August 2016.

Hawkbit-comp
Knapweed-comp

Wild Flowers

Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)

Autumn Hawkbit (Leontodon autumnalis)
Bulbous Buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus)
Burnet-saxifrage (Pimpinella saxifraga)
Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris radicata)
Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
Common Mouse-ear (Cerastium fontanum)
Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
Dwarf Thistle (Cirsium acaule)
Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum)
Lesser Hawkbit (Leontodon saxatilis)
Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea)
Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolate)
Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea)
Birds-foot-trefoil-comp

Grasses

Common Bent (Agrostis capillaris)
Crested Dog's-tail (Cynosurus cristatus)
Perennial Rye-grass (Lolium perenne)
Quaking-grass (Briza media)
Red Fescue (Festuca rubra)
Smaller Cat's-tail (Phleum bertolonii)
Sweet Vernal-grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum)
Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lunatus)

Other News....

New Park Ranger for Eastfield Park:

We welcome Dean Byrne as the new Park Ranger for Eastfield Park. He will have to share his time with other Northampton Parks so he will be kept very busy.

News from Tesco:

Unfortunately, the FoEP were not successful in obtaining a grant from the Tesco 'Bags of Help' scheme for extra items of play equipment for the new play area. We were told that we did not meet the 'Bags of Help' outcomes as well as other projects seeking funding from Tesco. Now we have a play area that includes equipment for less able children we can no longer use some of our strongest arguments when seeking funds. Nevertheless, we will be investigating other opportunities to secure additional funding including a new Tesco scheme with modified outcomes.

New Parks Leaflet from NBC:

Northampton Borough Council has produced a leaflet providing advice for users of local Parks. Please read it carefully and follow the guidlines given in the leaflet:

Parks Leaflet for website

CLICK POSTER TO READ

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