Posted: 07.10.19 at 09:47 by The Editor
Volunteers from Barry Action for Nature have recently conducted an environmental survey of Barry's major parks.
They were seeking to rank them in order of their benefit to wildlife and nature. The survey used a number of ecological criteria in order to allocate points to each park.
On Saturday, August 31st, 18 volunteers from Barry Action for Nature carried out a survey of Barry’s nine main public formal parks in order to gage their value to local wildlife.
The volunteers used 19 different ecological criteria to score the parks. They stated that their interest was solely for the benefit of local biodiversity and acknowledge that some parks would score higher for the entertainment of families and children with splash parks and play/sports areas.
The elements that the parks were scored on can be seen below:
• Pond / stream
• Wild flower area – at least 10%
• Mature tree cover
• Shrub cover
• Bird nest boxes (number of)
• Bat boxes (number of)
• Insect hotels
• Hedgehog house
• Is Ivy tolerated?
• Compost area
• Are there dead wood areas?
• Is there a long grass area?
• Is there a rockery area?
• Is there a bird feeding area?
• Fruit trees
• Are weeds tolerated?
The Chairman of Barry Action for Nature, Rob Curtis, said: ''We hope that the ranking of our parks will help Barry Action for Nature to work in partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and local residents to improve our parks with various wildlife friendly projects and thus making Barry a greener more wildlife friendly town.''
The parks have been listed in their ranking order below:
1. Romilly Park
2. Knap Gardens
3. Victoria Park
4. Gladstone Gardens
5. Parade Gardens
6. Central Park
7. Batts Field
8. Pencoedtre Park
9. Alexandra Gardens
Romilly Park was concluded as the most wildlife friendly park in Barry with its mature trees, shrubs, stream and pond.
The Knap Gardens only just pipped Victoria Park to second place due to the benefit of the freshwater lake to waterfowl, bats and swifts.
Alexandra Gardens fell short due to its lack of tree and shrub cover with no wildflower areas for pollinators (Porthkerry Country Park was not included as it is clearly classed as a Country Park).
The Barry based wildlife conservation group hopes the results will help them work with the Council to apply for grants for projects which would increase their attraction to wildlife.
Rob Curtis said: "Our urban parks have become the last refuge for many of our desperate wildlife species.
''We must do more to protect and encourage a greener more wildlife friendly management of our parks.
''By simply changing the mowing pattern we can produce wildflower meadows which will benefit our bees and butterflies and by digging a pond we can help our amphibians, birds and mammals.
''It is shocking that we have lost 95% of our hedgehogs, we just cannot continue with business as usual.
''We have ranked these parks purely on their value to nature and fully realise that for families a play area or a splash park are also important.
''We now hope to work with the Vale of Glamorgan Council in order to plant more trees and wildflower areas in order to improve these parks both for local wildlife and local people."