The one thing we all expected as eleven of us gathered at this lovely site between Yarborough Hill and Carline Road in Lincoln was that we would get wet. We’d all seen the forecast … but it didn’t happen and we had a dry day and even some spells of bright sun. So lucky!
Liquorice Park is managed by trustees and volunteers to meet the dual needs of the local community and wildlife. In a relatively small area it offers a variety of habitats and open spaces, and is a little oasis of calm for local residents and workers.
We had two linked tasks. One was to open out a small copse near the Alexandra Terrace entrance. There is already a path through it but otherwise it was overgrown and dark, and the Trustees wanted it to be a more open and safe space for children to play in and explore. First we cleared out dead wood, then we cut down some of the small saplings that were struggling in the poor light in the copse so that the remaining trees have the space to grow more strongly. Finally we raised the canopy of the wood by ‘lifting the crowns’ of some of the trees, i.e. removing the lower branches to open up the space below the trees and let more light in.
Our other task was to cut back encroaching brambles from a grassy area just below the copse and to create a dead hedge in a semi-circle around the back of the grass to hold back the brambles and create another welcoming space where people can sit and enjoy the park. A dead hedge is made from posts and twiggy branches packed down between the posts. All the material for the hedge came from what we had cut out from the copse. Dead hedges create natural-looking boundaries and are great for wildlife, as they give somewhere for mammals and birds to shelter, and they are in effect linear eco-piles for insects. We also raised the crowns of two oak trees growing here, again to open up the space beneath them – and then we made use of that space when we sat down for our picnic lunch break.
We were delighted with what we achieved in the day, and we know that our efforts have been appreciated by the Trustees and regular park users. They were also appreciated by a busy robin that spent most of the day around us, as our work disturbed the ground and revealed tasty insects!