The planting of an 800 metre biodiversity hedge along the Tulse Hill side of Brockwell Park in 2013 created a new wildlife corridor for native species. BPCP’s Biodiversity Group secured funding of £20,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust and Biffa Award for the project.
BPCP has produced a booklet on the wildlife corridor which can be downloaded here.
Brockwell Park’s new Wildflower Slope received public acclaim and recognition in the 2013 London in Bloom awards. The project was conceived by BPCP’s Biodiversity Group as a way of transforming the grounds by the Lido and to create a habitat for important species such as bees and butterflies.
The Group has now published a booklet studying the success of the Wildflower Slope which can be downloaded here.
Here is another update from Fabrice Boltho from The Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, who has been continuing to spot and record fungi in the park. You may have seen him with his group of spotters gathering tiny specimen pieces to send off to identify.
This time we found Russula pseudoaffinis. A Mediterranean species associated with Holm Oak in Southern Europe. The 3rd known British site for this species is now the holm oak in front of Brockwell Hall. This is a big brown Russula, unique among UK species in having flecks of veil (rather like the spots on a fly agaric but fainter) on the cap. First found in 2006 on Hampstead Heath, it has since been found at Kew. It looks like being one of those things that fruits only after a hot summer.
Also a very showy purple Cortinarius which is only known from a few sites in the UK. Brockwell Park’s was under a Hornbeam. Species may be Cortinarius balteatocumatilis. Geoffrey Kibby took it away to study in more detail.
I also found a rare earthstar in the park (only recorded 35 times for the UK).
Species is (according to Kibby) Geastrum floriforme which is much more common in southern Europe but rare in the UK and mostly found along the south coast. In 2007 its listing was nationally scarce.
This fungus is distinctive as being one of only two hygroscopic uk earthstar (species that unfurl when they are wet). The fruitbodies I found , which were last year’s (they hang about for a while), were still capable of doing this in about five minutes, changing from something withered to something very cute as you watched. They might be worth collecting for Nature explorers as there are a few left.
I have a suspicion it might potentially be Geastrum corollinum. It is critically endangered in the UK. The two specimens I collected were taken to Kew so we should find out.
Also some interesting boletes. One I’m pretty sure is Boletus legaliae (spectacular large bolete). We have a photo so it should be possible to confirm this. It is not recorded from this part of the world. Also Boletus pulverentulus (occasional to uncommon) There were a lot on Saturday, though by yesterday it looks like most had been taken. A smallish bolete that goes instantly deep blue at the slightest touch. If you break a piece of the cap off it discolours to a deep inky blue immediately. Get out there and check it out now! It might not come up again for another 5 years.
BPCP’s biodiversity group has called for a reduction in foraging in the Park.
The effect of ‘picking your own’ blackberries, elderberries or rosehips reduces the small amount of wild margin in Brockwell Park. BPCP is trying to protect this small but vital wildlife habitat so that beetles, spiders and flies can complete their life-cycles and so provide plenty of food for the birds, bats and field mice – which in turn will bring back the owls and kestrels that disappeared from parks when they were over managed.
Spiders, frogs and toads all use the leaf mould and prickly stems as cover to protect them all year round and the shaded ground provides nice damp places for wildlife. Nettles are particularly good for all stages of the lifecycle for moths and butterflies and the berries provide a good food source for lots of species.
You can pick fruit and vegetables in Brockwell Park’s Community Greenhouses (adjacent to the Temple building) and take them home with you. However picking considerable amounts from the Park’s wild areas is no longer acceptable to BPCP, nor encouraged, as we are working hard to create a Park that is rich in wildlife.
Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.