Burgess Park Blackberry Meadow maintenance

At the beginning of September, SNAVers Susan, Anna, Jenny, Dave, and Simon met with Jon Best, Southwark’s Biodiversity Officer, and Alan from Complete Ecology to discuss maintenance of the Burgess Park’s blackberry meadow, which has attracted some fantastic birds in recent years, including blackcaps, whitethroats, and chiffchaffs.

Some of the best-practice maintenance principles we identified for bramble lands:
  • Mow grass areas 2x per year in March and August/Sept, but always leave some areas uncut – for insects and eggs/pupae/caterpillar.
  • When mowing leave at least 20% of each area.  When cutting blackberry clump leave 1/3-2/3 , and shift which portion is cut/left each time.
  • Certain species prefer freshly cut/new growth scrub to older (big dead area inside) scrub and blackberry. 

SNAVer Steven R. used our google group to alert the group that contractors had carried out the maintenance in a way a bit more heavy handed than expected, showing yet again that good communication is key, and site presence on the day the work is done is often critical.

Burgess Wildlife Projects volunteers helped follow up with this maintenance, and public interfacing, on 26 October. Two more dates for wildlife volunteering on the scrubland, with HandsOn London, are set for 26th November and 10th December. Drop in any time from  10-3  meet along the canal path –  Bridge to Nowhere/Trafalgar Ave.

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