Park activities will vary depending on the site, time of year and by what needs the most attention. They days may include wildflower meadow planting and management, nature trail construction, seasonal clearance, pond and lake maintenance, tree, hedge and bulb planting and creating wildlife and biodiversity habitats.
In June 2019, 35 volunteers from King’s College London teamed up with Southwark Parks to make some improvements to the Camberwell New Cemetery, a site of great importance for nature conservation and on the South London Green Chain Walk. The team split into two groups, one group was tasked with habitat building, beginning with building a hibernaculum, a pit filled with shingle, logs and leaf matter and soil that makes a perfect winter habitat for reptiles, amphibians and insects, they topped it with turf, leaving small entrances for it’s future residents.
The second team other set out coppicing self-set willow trees to extend a meadow area and use the willow to build a 20 metre natural fence. They organised themselves into an efficient production line of coppicing, removing leafs from the branches and then being skilfully woven between the fence posts.
The volunteers from King’s College enjoyed an action packed day and gained skills in practical conservation, woodland management and natural fence building. Their teamwork achieved so much in just one day. Mark Thompson, Southwark Cemeteries Manager said, “The work they did is fantastic, the willow fence is better than many of the professionally built ones I’ve seen”.
A huge thanks to the team from Kings College, their excellent woodland management work will directly support a host of wildlife in the cemetery and increase biodiversity. The space they created for an extended wildflower meadow will directly support and protect London’s valuable bee and butterfly population.