Down to Sevenoaks today for a Kent Wildlife Trust teach-in on the 'Living Landscapes' project, creating green corridors and enhancing urban greenspaces for people and wildlife. To be honest it turned out to be a little too basic for me in most respects. I was really after more depth on management for various species, more detail on dealing with various conflicting demands and how to resolve these, especially 'excuses' involving inertia, inflexibility and claims that we 'can't afford it' from Councils and various utilities.
Nevertheless, some useful stuff was picked up as a result, including an actual site-specific management plan for allotment wildlife, which I've not had a chance to read yet, but may be a help 'back home' in trying the establish the principle. My own Council hasn't even started the species recording process on its wildlife sites - 6 years after the target completion date - yet fills LDFs and BAPs with worthy pronouncements about protecting and increasing biodiversity in open spaces, including allotments, that it seems disinclined to act upon, data or otherwise.
The afternoon included a visit to a very large allotment site off Kennedy Gardens, with fine views northwards (below):
I only looked at a few plots, but there were some interesting 'weed' species, including Papaver rhoeas, 4 Fool's Parsley, Galinsoga (possibly Gallant Soldier), several Bugloss and Common Fumitory.
The streets I traversed in the area had a similar 'weed' flora to that in my part of Bexley, though Ivy-leaved Toadflax seemed more prevalant here.
Highlights were a couple of Hare's-foot Clover in the line of a recently planted hedge in Hollybush Lane Sports Ground, 5 Pyramidal Orchids in a front garden lawn on Vine Court Rd (next to, rather inevitably, a garden covered in a skip and gravel ....) and 15 or more Papaver (probably) rupifragum along the roadside boundary of The Vine cricket ground on Dartford Rd.
Time was then spent over a couple of pints in a local hostelry discussing ways to bring about a more radical approach to enhancing biodiversity, and maximising the amount of wildlife in Bexley, with a recent contact who has long been pushing for such improvements in the Borough.