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Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

BIG BIODIVERSITY BATTLE 2021/22

Chalfont St Peter Parish Council recognises the pressures on our natural environment as a result of further urbanisation and necessary development. This project is intended to offer a degree of mitigation for these impacts upon the natural world. It is intended that this work will form the next step in the Parish Councils vision to further develop the village as an environment where nature can flourish. Our commitment will not only be in the form of ideas and words but also in physical actions. Our haywarden team will be integral in the delivery of this work and this is reflected in the hours contributed to the project. The partnership working with Chiltern Rangers will ensure our team develop their skills and knowledge to ensure longer term maintenance is provided following the principles originally employed. Furthermore, the Parish Council will invest in machinery specific to the implementation of the project and also the longer term ongoing maintenance. Without such a machine the delivery of wild grassland meadow habitats on the scale proposed would be unfeasible. Likewise the Parish Council is committed to the survival and development of all planted stock.

The following proposals are a next step on the journey to improving the Open Spaces of Chalfont St Peter. It is clear that the planet faces unprecedented change in terms of climate change and habitat destruction. We cannot carry on regardless and a step change of the management of our Open Spaces is vital for the long term vitality of our local natural world. With the support of the Buckinghamshire Community Board and the forward thinking collaboration of Chalfont St Peter Parish Council and its partners the required change can be affected at grass roots level. A perfect demonstration of Localism.

The work focuses on enhancing and/or creating more BAP (Bucks Biodiversity Action Plan) Priority Habitat: Ponds, Chalk stream, Chalk Grassland & Lowland Woodland – all in an urban or urban fringe setting. Therefore we will also focus on a number of key urban species, listed in the BAP as species of conservation concern usually due to significant population declines over the past 25 years. These include: Swift, House Sparrow, Hedgehog & Bats. The work in the other habitats is aimed at making improvements for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, through the provision of suitably managed habitat rich in flora and fauna. It is specifically designed to compliment works undertaken in recent years at Austenwood Common (AWC) & Goldhill Common (GHC) through the Commons Management Plan.

This creates the crucial wildlife friendly stepping stones through the village important for wildlife in the face of a warming climate.

There is also a heritage and culture element to this project as we will aspire to reinstate an old pond on GHC, return habitats to traditional management such as coppicing, planting species such as Elm which grew here before the 1970’s. We will work with another social enterprise Colwill & co and use timber grown locally to provide sustainable low impact ‘infrastructure’ such as benches , way marker posts ladder boards and interpretation panel frames. The timber for these products will be sourced from selected stock within AWC & GHC which will have been felled to deal with H&S issues and to diversify the woodland age structure. This is crucial work for a healthy woodland ecosystem by reinvigorating the woodlands to regenerate all by themselves – just add sunlight! Generally, when trees are felled, in whole or part, we will retain deadwood on site as habitat piles or woodchips laid to paths to aid access and encourage people to stick to the paths.

We need your help !

Volunteers

A key element of this project is partner working with local schools, churches, homes (dementia care), youth groups and local residents.

The environmental crisis affects us all no matter what our ages or background and we need to get everybody involved in doing something about this. The positive impact on groups working together will benefit all those who take part.

Working with the children, youth groups elderly and those with specific needs outside in the fresh air will improve health, mental wellbeing and assist those who have felt isolated, specifically during this pandemic.

By working with lots of different groups of different ages with one common goal will unite the community to improve our environment now and for future generations.

Possible groups that could volunteer and make a difference to this project are:

Chiltern Rangers, CSP Guides, CSP Scouts,

Age Concern, Epilepsy Society

Allotment Holders (loves Delight & Hill House)

CSP Academy, Robertswood School, St Josephs School
Thorpe House Independent School, Chalfont St Peter Community College

Chalfont St Peter Youth Club

Chiltern Chalk Stream Project, River Misbourne Action Group

CSP Tennis Club, CSP Garden Club, Community Centre

St Peters Church of England, St Josephs Roman Catholic Church, Gold Hill Baptist Church

Mulberry Court residents (Dementia Home)

Chamber of Commerce (CSP Shops)

Residents of Chalfont St Peter

Dates for Volunteering sessions - Please come along and help us

DATE TIME LOCATION TASKS
Friday 21st January 2022 10am to 3pm Riverside Nature Reserve
  • 1/3 pond vegetation removal
  • Put up 3 x Schwegler bat, wooden bat and a tawny owl box
  • Repair step and pathway
  • Plant thorn in hedge by scout hut
Monday 31st January 2022 10am to 3pm Riverside Nature Reserve/Millennium Wood
  • Hedge laying
  • Putting up Bird/Bat boxes
  • Cleaning and painting interpretation boards.
Thursday 3rd February 2022 10am to 3pm Garden of Rest
  • Planting tree whips

Policy Documents and Risk Assessments

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River Misbourne (Tennis Club to Community Centre)

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Bridge

Tasks to be  undertaken

* Bank side scalloping to open up river views and diversify age structure
* Tree work – pollarding to reduce risk , increase light to the stream and diversify age structure of trees
* Repair footbridge and improve path by widening, grading and reinforcing bridge foundation. Improving the entrance sightlines.  All relevant permissions will be agreed with Environment Agency (EA), Chiltern Chalk Stream project (CCSP) and the River Misbourne Action Group (RMAG)
* Litter cleared on land and in stream
* Remove some instream vegetation eg Fools Watercress to clear central channel

Hill House Allotments

Tasks to be undertaken

* Planting of a predominately hazel hedge (with a few Wych Elm & Buckthorn).
* Hazel could be harvested on rotation by allotment holders for use instead of bamboo.
* Wych Elm is planted as it’s the caterpillar food plant for White-letter Hairstreak butterfly,.
* Buckthorn is for Brimstone.
* Boundary Sycamore trees within the Millennium Wood managed (mix of Fell and pollard) to reduce shading and seed set into allotments and risk to path and allotment users.
* Woodland edge habitat enhanced by regrowth.
* Woodchip available to allotment holders for mulch: weeds supressed, water conserved.

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

Riverside Nature Reserve

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Tasks to be undertaken

* Sycamore removal – heavy shade fast growing heavy seed set.
* Pond Management 1/3 vegetation cleared
* Various trees crown lift, paths widened ( safe access)  woodchip on paths in Millenium Wood
* Step repair & path reinstated
* Pollard hedge by Scout Hut & supplement hedge planting (thorn spp)
* Widen entrance to allotment path
* Yellow rattle seed for grassy areas
* Install a rustic timber bench by the pond

Millennium Wood

Tasks to be undertaken

* Boundary Sycamore, logs stacked as habitat pile for hedgehogs beetles etc, lop & top chipped for woodland path
* Invasive non native species (INNS) removal – cotoneaster
* Path work: widen, scallop, crown lift
* Plant wych elm in glades
* Clean & treat interpretation board
* Lay the hedge
* Sycamore tree to fell by BT lines

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

Jubilee Garden

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

Tasks to be undertaken

* Paint bollards black hammerite
* Sand and paint benches
* Wood chip – donation from other projects

Garden of Rest

Tasks to be undertaken

* Plant trees and hedges
* Install boxes for Owls, Kestrel, Bats & small birds
* Create acres of wildflower habitat with paths in main field only – change mowing regime to cut and collect with paths and front edge mown more frequently.
* Sow yellow rattle  in patches  to help long term sustainability and reduce grass yield. Add wildflower plug plants to speed the process up.
* Plant 5 copses to maximise the woodland ecotone in the grassland and create microhabitats and link the fields. They will consist of mainly understorey species but with a few timber trees too.
* 4 copses will be planted by people and help deliver the BC tree planting targets.
* The fifth will simply be created by erecting a deer exclosure and leaving things to natural succession as a control patch. Approx 5 – 10 years.
* Install benches with a path mown through the new meadow for people to explore and contemplate, reflect and remember – it’s a burial ground after all…
* Spring flower margin along the entrance avenue
* Native spring flowers which bloom before the canopy closes. Great early nectar & pollen source and colour.

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Cheena Meadow

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

Tasks to be undertaken

* Rake & Sow Yellow rattle for grassland diversification
* There is scope to plant 8-10 new trees to grow as standards – it is imperative to plant them with enough space for the tractor to get to flail the hedge.
* Increase the area managed as wildflower habitat. Change mowing regime as required.
* Trees
* CR time planting
* Install rustic timber benches

Centre of the Village

Tasks to be undertaken

* Shrub planting to car park verge for nesting and foraging opportunities
* development of a living wall along chruch perimiter
* tree planting along car park verge

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

Gold Hill Common

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

Tasks to be undertaken

* Plant approx. 4-5 Dutch Elm Disease resistant Elm. There used to be 2 very large elms on the common until the 1970s.
* Sow yellow rattle seed
* Plant wildflower plugs  to create a yellow and blue vista, species include: Ox Eye Daisy, Kidney Vetch, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Horseshoe Vetch, Dark Mullein, Harebell, Bellflower, Scabious field & small, Vipers Bugloss, Yellow Rattle, Lady’s Bedstraw, Primrose & Cowslip – This gives a long flowering period from early spring to late summer.
* Re instate the pond on the common –  inc marginal planting and wildflower buffer.
* Adjust the common mowing regime to increase wildflower habitat whilst maintaining neat perimeter strip by moving granite stones in 1m to increase the efficiency of the mowing work.

Austenwood Common

Tasks to be undertaken

* Fell and mill oak tree for project & diversify woodland ecosystem structure.
* Lop & top chipped to paths and for mulching newly planted trees.
* Thinning, coppicing, holly management
* Planting Wych Elm and Buckthorn.

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

Watersplash Garden

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster

Tasks to be undertaken

* To clear and cultivate raised border and watersplash
* Sow yellow rattle seed
* Plant flowers

Misc./Maintenance

Tasks to be undertaken

* Maintenance – Watering of trees/whips for the first three years (does not include cost of water which PC will provide)
* Maintenance – Annual wild grassland management using the cut and collect machine
* Maintenance – Plant wild flower plugs to existing wild grassland verges belonging to Bucks Council.
* Ongoing advertising – Posters and information boards to explain the project updates

Big Biodiversity Battle 2021 22 Poster