Friends of Allestree Park

Allestree Park in Derby, England

Allestree Park Local Nature Reserve Meeting 19th November 2014

Allestree Local Nature Reserve  Meeting Notes

Date: 19th November 2014

Venue: University of Derby Kedleston Road 


Discussion Points

Higher Level Stewardship Presentation

The presentation/informal discussion lasted over one hour and questions were asked throughout. A general summary is below:

What is Higher Level Stewardship (HLS)?

Environmental Stewardship is an agri-environment scheme lead by Natural England. It provides funding to farmers and other land managers in England to deliver effective environmental management on the land

It involves complex management to deliver significant environmental benefits in priority areas. It is a comprehensive agreement to achieve a wide range of environmental benefits over a longer period of time (10 years)

Why Derby Parks?

The Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Partnership prepared the Derby Area Action Plan and this plan highlighted key sites and landscapes for improvements. HLS has been recommended as part of Local Nature Reserves Management Plans and supported by partners including Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, friends groups, local ecologists. A Senior Natural England Officer visited the key sites and it follows his recommendations

Keys Parks chosen by Natural England

  • Allestree Park LNR
  • Chellaston Brickworks LNR
  • Darley & Nutwood LNR
  • Inglewood Avenue LWS
  • Sinfin Moor Park & LNR

Types of practical Conservation Management

  • Removal of hay crop by grazing, mechanised bailing or hand cut and rake.
  • Removal of invasive trees, shrubs and flora.
  • Scrub control.
  • Re-seed grassland meadows.

Details of Allestree Park LNR

allestree park hls 2014 map

Compartments G1 & G2 – HK16 Restoration of grassland for target species by grazing.

Adjusting the management of the semi-improved grassland to provide good conditions for target species and to protect other features such as ridge and furrow.

Compartment G3

HK7 Restoration of species rich semi-natural grassland by grazing.

The diversity of this grassland may be enhanced by amending existing management practice.

In addition, the DerwentWISE project is funding a grassland improvement scheme. This will include spraying with herbicide, preparing the ground and sowing locally sourced meadow seed.

Indicators of success – Ridge and furrow sees no further degradation.

From year 3, cover of invasive trees and shrubs should be less than 5%.

From year 5, one or more high value indicator species should be flowering during May/June and be frequent and 2 occasional in the sward.

Compartments G6 & G7 – HC16 Restoration of successional areas and scrub by grazing.

The aim is to maintain habitat mosaics at the field and landscape scale for specific BAP species and to protect soils and watercourses. It will require regular vegetation management to maintain suitable conditions and prevent the development of woodland.

Indicators of success

From year 5, Dunnock, Song Thrush and Bull Finch should be present and the following plant species Pignut, Bird’s-foot Trefoil should be occasional.

By year 5, cover of the scrub species should be between 20% and 50% of the area.

By year 5, grasses and wildflowers should be occasional and be between 5cm and 15cm tall on 30% to 60% of the area (from May to July they should be flowering and setting seed).

By year 2, the following undesirable species should be no more than occasional.

Overall timescales

Capital Works e.g. fencing, stiles, water supply – completed August 2016. We are currently creating a programme of undertaking the Capital Works to meet deadline. Revenue e.g. contribution towards meadow management, scrub clearance – starts 1 September 2014 and runs until 31 August 2024

Positive for Derby’s Parks and Local Nature Reserves

  • Huge boost for nature conservation in Derby
  • Ensure protection of key parks and nature reserves
  • Provides a best practice example to other land owners both local and national 
  • Helping us to better manage our open spaces

New LNR Management Plan Complete - The new LNR Management Plan has now been finalised. It has been sent out to all on the mailing list for the group and will soon be available on the Derby City Council website. Any amends from this point will be logged on a separate document ready for when the plan is next updated in 2023.

Tree Planting - A Big Tree Plant is programmed in for 6 December 2014 which is a public event and open to all. 700 trees are set to be planted on the margins of the main field to create a mix of new woodland and butterfly glades. Any loss of long grass habitat will be replaced by relaxing some mowing regimes into the main field. It will also be beneficial to start cutting and collecting these long grasses in autumn which Derby Parks hopes Community Payback will be able to help. In addition, 10 disease resistant elms will also be planted on the same day.

Fishing - The Earl of Harrington’s Angling Club (EoHAC) have been looking after the lakes since April 2014. They have carried out some minor works on fishing pegs to clear both fishing debris and fallen trees. A draft management plan for both lakes has been drawn up which proposes marking out fishing pegs, increasing marginal vegetation, reducing the tree cover around the lake and increasing fish stocks. These plans have been discussed at a sub group meeting which included Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Derby Parks and members of Friends of Allestree Park. All plans are subject to a funding bid submitted by EoHAC. Further information will be made available when works are set to take place.

Burley Lane Pond - The pond is all but silted up and efforts have been made to trial a third (and final) clearance. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Pond Warden and Derby Parks met to discuss a plan of action. Work was due to start in Summer 14, however, the Land Drainage Team (Derby City Council) requested no work be carried out on or close to Burley Brook as they hope to carry out flood risk work at some point in the future (no dates set). No work will be carried out on the pond until this has happened. 

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) - TCV will be working on further rhododendron clearance in Big Wood during Winter 2014/15. They will be there for three days and the work will be paid for by Derby Parks from their core budget.

Conservation work to be considered for next year will be discussed at the outdoor meeting in Spring. Suggested tasks are; more rhododendron clearance in Big Wood; invasive species clearance in Arboretum Wood (between the main car park and lake); path restoration in Big Wood; path restoration close to Burley Lane.

Friday, January 18, 2019