Moor Sustainable has recently managed some work in Waterfall Park (opposite Suggitt’s) to make it more accessible and attractive: including two new picnic benches, surfacing a muddy path and adding a step down to the beach area. This has been funded by Hambleton District Council’s Making a Difference Fund and Great Ayton Parish Council. This work complements the Parish Council’s plan to replace the Whitbread Memorial Bridge into the park with one accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs.
As part of the project, Martin Allen, a local expert botanist, has undertaken a survey of the flowers and trees in Waterfall Park. Martin has identified an amazing 48 different species of flowers, 23 different trees and shrubs plus 17 grasses, sedges and ferns most of which are native. However, not many of the wildflowers are great for providing nectar for pollinators such as bees. Due to modern agricultural practices there are fewer flowers in our hedgerows and fields and therefore pollinating insects are struggling.
Following the initial survey, Martin suggested as a starter we plant/sow the following at a picnic in the park in September (9th September):
- wild daffodils under the trees;
- flag iris, marsh marigold, and brooklime by the beach;
- red campion, meadow sweet, greater stitchwort, and wild strawberry along the river bank and behind the old mill leat.
He has also suggested that we could remove a couple of trees, that are not so beneficial to wildlife, to let in more light. However, we would wanted to know what local people and visitors thought before going ahead so we asked people to complete our questionnaire and return by 25th August, to boxes in Thompson’s or The Discovery Centre.
Picnics in Waterfall Park
Over 50 people, of all ages, came to the picnic event on 24th July in Waterfall Park, Great Ayton. They had great fun exploring the plants and trees growing in the park and spotting the changes to make the park more accessible. We are now collating the responses to the questionnaire to identify the next steps following the second picnic.
The comments from the questionnaires have been collated and Moor Sustainable are discussing with the Parish Council what the next steps should be.