News of Our Group, and Relevant News for Our Members

Friday 14 June 2013

Oaken Grove Park Wildlife Initiative, Maidenhead

Hedgehog looking for food

Can you help the wildlife in Oaken Grove Park?  Join with a group of local parents and with the council who are working to give nature a home.

Dear Steve,

I thought your group might be interested in what a group of parents are trying to achieve with the council and with Oaken Grove Park in Furze Platt, Maidenhead.  This is mostly inspired by the RSPB State of Nature report and my own experience of seeing wildlife decline in this area. 

Would any one else (particularly if they live around this area) like to get involved with this?  I am a keen birder and think the park has a huge potential which is just wasted at the moment and I think it is a real shame!  I have arranged a meeting with the Park manager and the Braywick Park Warden next Friday 21st June, in the park, to discuss our ideas.   I am putting together a more comprehensive list of improvements and comments that our parents group has suggested but more are most definitely welcome especially from people who know what they are doing!

I must stress that I am just an amateur at this sort of thing so any input/suggestions would be most welcome.

Many thanks

Rachel Cook 

The initial letter sent to the council -

Dear Sirs

We are a group of parents who are concerned about the disappearing wildlife in our towns and countryside and the negative effect this will have on us, our children and future generations. 

The State of Nature report (as publicised by the RSPB) shows 60% of species in decline, 30% seriously so and 13% in danger of extinction.   Our generation appears to be presiding over the destruction and decay of our green and pleasant land and we are not happy about it.

So, we have had a think and asked ourselves what can we do?

At home we can of course increase the number of nestboxes, put in a pond, plant some nectar-full species and keep cats in at night.  However, at a local level we do not believe that this is enough.  Our wildlife needs a coherent strategy across the borough to help it disperse safely and breed – essentially wildlife corridors.  This is where the Royal Borough comes in – to link all the wildlife friendly places together.  Not to isolate small pockets of wild areas into nature reserves but to spread wild areas throughout our town.

We appreciate that Rome wasn’t built in a day but perhaps the management of our town could be tweaked to give enough space to wildlife, especially the open spaces in the borough, to start to reverse this decline.  Much more could be done to encourage wild flowers/native species and revive the declining populations of many insect species which will in turn support our birds and other wildlife and make the parks much nicer places to be in.  

Our local park is Oaken Grove.  We wonder if it is possible for us to make a start there?  We would really love a wildlife friendly park where our children can experience the wonder of caterpillars, grasshoppers, birds nesting in safety and perhaps even an alpha predator such as a stoat or weasel, kestrel or owl?  This last winter has been hard on many of our animals.  In particular we have seen several dead hedgehogs in the park.  We speculate that there was simply not enough food available for them in the park to go into hibernation and they starved to death.  Can the council reverse this decline through better management?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully