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8th October 2019

Urban Parks are the last refuge for our remaining wildlife

BY: Nathan Spackman

Volunteers from Barry Action for Nature have recently conducted a survey of Barry's main parks seeking to rank them for their benefit to wildlife and nature.

The survey used a number of ecological criteria in order to allocate points to each park.

On Saturday August 31st 2019 18 volunteers from Barry Action for Nature carried out a survey of Barry’s nine main public formal parks in order to gage their value to local wildlife.

The group used 19 different ecological criteria to score the parks, for the benefit of local biodiversity and acknowledge that some parks would score higher for the entertainment of families and children with splash parks and play/sports areas.

The group now hope that the ranking of parks will help Barry Action for Nature to work in partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and local residents to improve our parks with various wildlife friendly projects and thus making Barry a greener more wildlife friendly town.

  1. Romilly Park
  2. Knap Gardens
  3. Victoria Park
  4. Gladstone Gardens
  5. Parade Gardens
  6. Central Park
  7. Batts Field
  8. Pencoedtre Park
  9. Alexandra Gardens

Barry Action for Nature say Romilly Park was by far the most wildlife friendly park in Barry with its mature trees, shrubs, stream and pond. The Knap Gardens only just pipped Victoria Park to second place due to the benefit of the fresh water lake (and its insects) to water fowl, bats and Swifts. Alas Alexandra Gardens came bottom due to its lack of tree and shrub cover with no wildflower areas for pollinators (Porthkerry Country Park was not included as it is clearly classed as a Country Park).

The Barry based wildlife conservation group hopes the results will help them work with the Council to apply for grants for projects which would increase their attraction to wildlife.

The Chairman of Barry Action for Nature, Rob Curtis, told Bro Radio: "Our urban parks have become the last refuge for many of our desperate wildlife species. We must do more to protect and encourage a greener more wildlife friendly management of our parks."

"By simply changing the mowing pattern we can produce wildflower meadows which will benefit our bees and butterflies and by digging a pond we can help our amphibians, birds and mammals."

"It is shocking that we have lost 95% of our hedgehogs...we just cannot continue as business as usual!We have ranked these parks purely on their value to nature and fully realise that for families a play area or a splash park are also important."

"We now hope to work with the Vale of Glamorgan Council in order to plant more trees and wildflower areas in order to improve these parks both for local wildlife and local people."

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