Walking, cycling or driving along the busy, noisy, fume-filled King Henry’s Walk cut through, you would be forgiven for not knowing about the secret sanctuary behind the Children’s Adventure Playground that is King Henry’s Walk Community Garden. Rich in all kinds of wildlife, the group on Sunday May 20th set out to find out exactly how rich! We were eager to find out how much had changed since last year since the first Bio-Blitz. It was a wonderful, warm, sunny day, and Clare Jeapes, our bird expert, immediately pointed out that the swifts had arrived from their long migration and were performing spectacular acrobatics. Though, while the swifts were more spectacular than ever, fewer species were spotted than last year, and there was no sign of a wren or goldfinch. But we are reassured that they are in the area.
Swifts in a Summer Sky
Will Atkins once again came with an array of equipment and headed first for the pond, and was soon explaining the extraordinary life it contains to a spellbound audience, young and old. There were some old favourites from last year, including the encrusted caddis larvae. There were also exciting newcomers (since last year); most appealing were the blue damsel flies hovering above the water. As well as the many plants planted by garden members in their individual plots, there are also a large number of wildflowers (about 90, included some seeded from garden planting). These were methodically documented by Annie Chipchase and Maria Roberts of the London Natural History Society who kindly responded to our plea for assistance. Alas, our resident inspect expert was out of town, so we used our initiative, aided by younger supporters, turning over logs in the woodland, finding slugs of various types, beetles, woodlice and centipedes. Fortunately, Russell Miller joined us to look for bees; we were amazed by just how many different species the Garden contains. On the following pages is a full list of all we saw, and remember to watch out for next year’s bio-blitz in late May.