Down the Dene

We are very fortunate indeed that WildGround will be working in Ferndene Park most Tuesdays between now and January.  WildGround is a three-year initiative to deliver high quality traineeships in natural heritage grounds maintenance. The project, delivered by Durham Wildlife Trust and financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, provides extensive training to six adults each year. Seven of the past twelve trainees have moved on to gain employment with organisations such as The Environment Agency, The National Trust, RSPB, and The Washington Wildfowl and Wetland Centre. They will be working alongside the dedicated Friends of Ferndene Park, who give up much of their spare in an effort to restore the park to its former glory. The Secretary of FFP group is Councillor Christine McHatton.

WildGround members held an informal drop-in meeting in the Bowling Pavillion this morning.  Rytonians (or anyone interested in the park) were invited along to hear about their work, and to give suggestions and ideas.

Suggestions include:
Improve surface of footpath which leads into the Dene.
Clear selected brambles, shrubs and trees from the Dene area with a view to opening up the canopy, thereby creating an area which is less appealing to those intent on anti-social behaviour.
streamHave a survey carried out on the bridge with a view to restoration.
Improve water flow, quality and visual appeal by widening the stream and clearing culverts.
Clear weeds from rockery and adjacent path and plant with low maintenance, ground cover plants which have wildlife value.
Consider creating a swathe of wildflower grassland on grass area to the left of the entrance gate.

The photographs below are a reminder of just how valuable this open space is, and the benefits it provides to our community.  The bowling team were preparing for a match this afternoon, and we have two large play areas, as well as a five a side football pitch and the tennis courts.  Anyone wanting to get involved can contact organisers and volunteers through me.greenf