Sustainable scheme improves biodiversity in Crowborough

BIODERVISITY BOOM Walshes Park PICTURE: Wealden District Council

A LEADING conservationist has praised Walshes Park in Crowborough for its biodiversity, after it registered a wide variety of plants, birds and butterflies, some for the first time.

Kevin Crook, an expert in the conservation and biodiversity sector, and founder of Crowborough Wildlife Group (CWG), commended the management scheme at the site, which is owned and managed by Wealden District Council (WDC).

As a Sustainable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS), the park leaves its meadows to bloom all year, with only an annual cut in the autumn.

Some areas are left uncut for longer, maximising the benefits for small mammals and invertebrates over the winter, and allowing wildflowers such as sneezewort and Devil’s-bit scabious to flourish.

By contrast, said Mr Crook, England had lost approximately 98 per cent of its flower-rich grassland.

Meanwhile, hedges were also left to thicken and spread, creating bird habitats. Rarer bird species, such as whitethroat and stonechat, were recorded in 2022.

Meanwhile, the dingy skipper butterfly, a priority species under the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan, was recorded for the first time in 2021.

Two species of butterfly – the marbled white and brown argus – were recorded in Walshes Park for the first time in 2022.

A total of 71 species of plants were noted in the Triangle Field, where wild angelica and common-spotted orchid were recorded for the first time.

Councillor Pam Doodles, WDC’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, said, “It’s excellent news that biodiversity in Walshes Park is improving so rapidly.

“Thanks to the sensitive management of the park, it has achieved brilliant results for flora and fauna not seen before in the area, and I’m sure it will continue to produce outstanding results.”

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