Native hedge planting in Whitfield Gardens and Crabtree Fields

This month volunteers from the Friends group have been planting native hedges in Whitfield Gardens and Crabtree Fields to replace missing or damaged shrubs.

Wild sherry sapling sprouting.
A wild cherry planted in early April is showing signs of spring growth already.

In early April we planted around 50 bare root saplings: mostly blackthorn, with a mix of hawthorn, hazel, field maple, wild cherry and dog rose in two areas of Whitfield Gardens and one section in Crabtree Fields. Around the base of each hedge we sowed native wildflower seeds as part the Grow Wild project

Fenced off area of planting.
Green netting has been placed to protect the newly planted areas.

The planting will in time increase the biodiversity of the open space and provide a wildlife friendly habitat for insects and provide food for birds through the autumn and winter from seeds and berries.

Green netting around planted area.
Two double hedge rows of native trees have been planted to fill the gaps in the shrubbery.

We also planted some honeysuckle and some perennial wildflower plants which were kindly donated off an allotment by someone who works in Fitzrovia.

Planted area.
A shady part of Crabtree Fields was planted with native hedge alongside the existing beech hedge.

The Friends group worked with Camden parks department and their contractor idverde to protect some of the planted areas while they get established. Green net fencing has been put around two areas of planting in Whitfield Gardens to protect the plants in the heavily used open space.

Buds on blackthorn.
Spring growth emerges on recently planted blackthorn tree.

In carrying out the planting the Friends group referred to the analysis in the Fitzrovia Open Space Study (2012) and a list of suggested species listed in Camden’s Biodiversity Action Plan (2013-2018), and also took into consideration the initiative to make London a National Park City.

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