Graffitti goes Green!
Local Graffitti artist Graham Upton and young asylum
seekers from the Downs View 'Finding Your Feet' project revamped a
graffiti wall in the heart of the Green Corridor. The wall in Watercress
Fields had been well used over the years but it was in need of a colourful
makeover. The wall now gives the area a family friendly feel having a
variety of creatures found locally to welcome people to the park and
adjacent play area. One side of the wall was retained as a graffiti wall
and so far the two art forms have co-existed well together!
Public Arts Projects
Students from the Ashford College of Art and Design are
working on designs for two public arts projects. The designs based around
riverside heritage and wildlife will be used for a large mural in the
vicinity of the International Passenger Station and to provide seating at
Queen Mother’s Park, Henwood.
Ashford Bird Watching Club surveyed birds throughout the
Green Corridor. The survey covered most of the Green Corridor from Great
Chart to South Willesborough. Species spotted included kingfisher, reed
and sedge warbler and green woodpecker.
Kent Probation Service provided help to create glades at
Buxford Wood, Singleton. The small wet woodland and nearby meadow have
been designated a SNCI by Kent Wildlife Trust as the area contains a
variety of wet habitats. Woodland glades created in the past have opened
up parts of the wood encouraging a greater range of ground dwelling plants
including water mint which provides a very minty fragrance when walking
through the wood!
Four sites in the Green Corridor were surveyed for small
mammals. Harmless Longworth traps were used at all of the sites. Little
Burton open space a site in the floodplain, recorded 2 vole species (bank
and field) as well as woodmice. Past scrub planting gave good shelter and
protection for small mammals at Boys Hall where large numbers of small
mammals were trapped.
Work to develop meadow areas at the recreation ground at
the end of Cudworth Road in South Willesborough will be underway in the
spring. The meadows will be created by stripping away or herbiciding turf
and re-sowing with a variety of wildflower species. Introducing new meadow
areas into an urban area is beneficial for a range of wildlife including
butterflies and other invertebrates.
Pollarded trees are a feature of the riverside in
Ashford and many can be seen throughout the Green Corridor. Ash and willow
were re-pollarded at Buxford Meadow, Singleton. Tree Surgeons used
specialised techniques developed both to stabilise the trees for the
future and to attract wood degrading fungi. Encouraging a range of fungi
associated with breaking down woody structures is beneficial for pollards
as they create a variety of habitats for invertebrates.
The Ashford Green Corridor project secured Heritage
Lottery Funding in 2004 to carry out a number of community projects which
included the development of a website. The website is now online at www.ashfordgreencorridor.org.uk
and lists details about the green corridor including maps, events
listings, news and community projects.
From puddles to ponds…
Two ponds have been created on the site of the Great
Chart Rifle Club. The first dug in early 2004 attracted insect life soon
after it was created. The second is to be dug early in 2005 and will
visually enhance the area and improve wildlife habitat.
New homes for amphibians..
New houses aren't the only type of construction that is
happening in Ashford. Parklife, commissioned by Ashford Borough Council
have been carrying out extensive habitat creation work in South
Willesborough. The work included the creation of amphibian scrapes and an
edible hedge. The area is locally known as 'Frog Island' due to its
floodplain location so was ideal for creating new wetland habitat.
Ashford Green Corridor Community Forum
A community forum is to be set up for local people to
develop the aims of the Green Corridor Project. The forum aims to engage
with the local community to further the agenda of the Green Corridor both
for people and wildlife. Anyone that is interested in joining the forum as
a representative of a community group or as an individual should contact
the Ashford Green Corridor Officer.