Whitehorse Road and its ‘critical’ bees to get an upgrade

The council has decided to spend the bulk of a £85,000 government grant on “updating” Whitehorse Road Recreation Ground in Selhurst.

Set for improvements: the council is spending a government grant on upgrading a park in Selhurst

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities provided the modest amount of funding to improve parks and green spaces across the borough. According to a statement from Fisher’s Folly, “Council staff considered a number of parks and green spaces, determining Whitehorse Recreation Ground would be the best option to ensure the investment would benefit areas of deprivation.”

The council is to use £47,500 to improve entrances and walkways, and to reopen the old messroom, to be used as an activity space for community groups.

There are also plans to expand and improve the community garden, build a composting bay and to create a chalk wildflower meadow.

A further £19,000 will be spent on planting new trees, the council saying this will add “shade and benefits for local animals”. They fail to specify what sort of animals they have in mind…

The council says that it “will further develop the plans in partnership with local community groups and organisations that wish to take part in the process.

“More information on this will be available in the coming weeks.”

Jason Perry, Croydon’s £81,000 per year part-time Mayor, appears to be increasingly confused. In a quote attributed to him, he’s supposed to have muttered something about the proposed improvements helping to bolster biodiversity, “supporting native plants and critical pollinators to thrive”. Our italics.

The very notion of a bee penning a review of the council’s work, or maybe the latest Attenborough documentary, is a novel one.

Let’s hope Mayor Perry and the council’s propaganda department manage to brief themselves soon about the plight of critically endangered insects…

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2 Responses to Whitehorse Road and its ‘critical’ bees to get an upgrade

  1. Would that bee-friendly Jason Perry by any chance bee (geddit!?!) related to the leader of Croydon Conservatives, whose 2022 election promises included spending taxpayers’ money on prematurely mowing grass and wildlflowers on verges and in parks across the borough, thus depriving bees and other insects of places to breed and feed? I think we should bee told

  2. Lewis White says:

    This sounds very positive, and I think that to spend £85,000 mainly on one really needy site makes better sense than spreading the funding too thinly over a huge number of sites.

    In reality, £85,000 is not a large sum, especially if part of the money needs to be spent on “hard landscape” such as paths, seats and play items. Creative thinking and creative design can produce results from not a huge amount of money, especially with planting, but even so, every new shrub bed and every tree needs to be watered for at least its first growing season. Plus mulch, and for trees, a stake, tree ties, and maybe a tree guard.

    The past very hot summer, and propsect of higher UV with global warming, makes tree planting of “shade trees” important for people, as well as wildlife. More so, as during the day, most urban wildlife will be sitting in the shade or sun, out of site of humans, on shed roofs, round the back of sheds, and in the protection of shrubs in gardens and in any scraps of bushery, and proper wooded areas.

    In the 1960’s and 70’s I used to read American landscaping books which mentioned “shade trees”. I found it amazing at the time, as we in the cold and grey UK all wanted to go on holidays to Spain to get lost of sunshine in the guaranteed summer sun of the Costas !

    When my sister moved to the USA, and I went there in the Summer, I suddenly realised that life without the shade of large trees would be intolerable.

    How times change. About 30 years ago, UK primary schools and others started to dish out summer hats to the children ! We are all aware that now that the sun is a friend but aso a force to respect. With factor 50.

    My only slight concern is the wording about “chalk wildflower meadow”. In an area of clay soil, like the Whitehorse area, an island of chalk will be of benefit to pollinators if properly managed in both the short and long terms. As there are no adjacent sources of native chalk grassland species, the seeds and / or baby plants will have to be imported on to the site and seeded or planted. Then, properly established, and managed…whuich means an annual cut and rake off.

    Native grasses have to be mixed with the wild flowers– tghe resulting mix is of beefit to both insects and seed eating birds.

    Let’s hope that the Council not only have the money to do the project, but to look after the meadow in the short, medium and long term. Otherwise, the wildflowers will just get swamped by coarse grasses, and get shaded out and choked. Which would be a very great shame, disappointment, and a waste of money and effort.

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