London Wildlife Trust’s reserve manager Shaun Marriott provides an update on progress and future work plans at the Braeburn Park site, by the railway in Crayford. Besides hands-on habitat management, Shaun is looking for people to monitor birds, do butterfly counts and run bat walks ………
‘This Thursday (2nd November) we are hosting a bonfire event which runs from 3pm until 7.30pm, inviting local residents to come along to eat a few freshly cooked sausages and have a drink as we burn off brash piles that have accumulated by the playground area.
This follows a lot of scrub clearance and pushing back of the treeline on the lower part of the slope (by the playground) in order to extend the grassland area substantially, hopefully to see more grasses and wildflowers there next year (if the Goat’s rue doesn’t get there first).
The pyramidal orchids that were discovered around here last year, re-emerged this summer, with some bee orchids along the main track towards our recently installed bug hotel.
We’ll be running a workday there on Wednesday and on the Thursday to continue opening up the stretch of small trees which eventually lead towards Galloway Drive.
The bonfire event is hopefully going to attract several locals so that we can explain our plan and maybe gain a few extra volunteers too.
The workdays will continue on the following Wednesdays and Thursdays into December, with the possible exception of Weds, 15th November, when I have to be at a LWT All Staff meeting elsewhere. If possible I’ll arrange for Graeme Jefferson, a local resident and committed volunteer, to run a workday on that day. Our best days in recent weeks have been Thursdays, with three new volunteers from the local Crayford area joining up.
Main tasks that we’ll be focusing on, in addition to the work above, are:
Rotational mowing of all tracks running below the ‘Sand Cutting’ valley
Scrub clearance (bramble and buddleia) on the banks above the Sand Cutting
Thinning out of scrub on the north-facing slope of the Sand Cutting
Felling of false acacia trees along the old A2 road bed
Planting up of gaps in the higher tree line of the slopes above the playground
Mowing of dense bramble on the acid grassland slope on the NW side of Galloway Drive
Clearance of scrub regrowth in the large cleared/open area between the railway line and bottom of the Sand Cutting
Continuing a dead hedge along the tree line of the scalloped edge where we’re currently opening up the slope by the playground and further along the track
Improve seasonal interpretation at various points
Install a few more benches
Build a bee wall below the sand banks, where these are currently being eroded by actions of motorbikes
Install steel chicane/barrier at Lower Station Road to prevent motorbikes from entering Braeburn here
Next Spring I’d like to see the butterfly transect set up and running, along with laying out of refugia for reptiles at various points, organising basic surveys which families can also take part in.
Additionally, to get some information about bat species that are present and to organise some bat walks for the public, along with moth trapping and bird reporting.
To get involved contact Shaun at: email@example.com