Over the last few tasks we have been managing the south section of a wildflower meadow at Leverhulme Park that is divided by a public footpath. In the South wildflower meadow we had the council work with us to cut back the grass, allowing us to rake it away and sow yellow rattle seeds into the meadow. Which require frost before germinating in spring then flowering in Summer.
The north section of the wildflower meadow is 50% trees, 10% brambles and 40% wildflower meadow, the meadow is on the verge of being lost to the encroachment of the trees. Without volunteers helping to remove the encroaching brambles and trees the meadow will be lost within five years. The work today by a handful of volunteers has resulted in the removal of at least 30% of the trees, thereby alowing the habitat to return to its former status as a wildflower meadow.
Without the support from volunteers this work would never be done by the local authority. Not because they don't want to do it but because they actually can't do it. Countless habitats have already been lost as the rangers have long since been disbanded and budget cuts mean that Environmental Services is now working with a skeleton crew. There are no employees who can do it.
In two weeks time we'll return to finish the work with volunteers but this could very well be our last task on Leverhulme Park for a considerable time as we contemplate other areas that badly need volunteers help.
Without the amazing generosity of volunteers donating their time over the last year at Leverhulme Park, we would have already lost the North Meadow, the willow wetland, the wetland bunk, the viewing hedgeline and numerous ponds.
The sad fact is that there are no longer any Rangers at Boton Council. The public needs to make a choice, either accept the loss of habitats and wildlife at your parks and nature reserves or get off your arse and help be a Volunteer Ranger. The choice is yours.