Park Rangers

About our Park Rangers:

Park Rangers

Our team of Park Rangers at Adur & Worthing Councils maintain our parks and open spaces, working with green space volunteer community groups across Adur and Worthing helping them with various projects and supporting them in developing their groups, working to enable communities in Adur and Worthing to improve their health and wellbeing.

You can read our Park Rangers' current blog posts on this page below:

Find out about our Park Ranger bloggers below.

See also: Parks


12th May 2021: Help habitats and creatures to thrive with these simple garden and mowing tips

Anthony Read, Head Ranger

Hi - my name is Anthony and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team. I am the Head Ranger for Adur & Worthing Councils.

The grounds maintenance teams are now well and truly into the mowing season across all our parks and green spaces, and you may have noticed we are leaving areas unmowed in some of them. These areas are either on the perimeter of the parks or are larger swathes that have less footfall than in the rest of the park.

The reason we do this is to give wildlife, and especially pollinators, more habitat to thrive in and on this point you can help and save yourself some time in the process. If you are wondering how - it really is quite simple - just don't mow all of your grass.

If you are a beginner, let your lawn grow naturally for a month or so in the Summer, and mow as you normally would outside of that time. Enjoy the flowers that some plants will throw out and remember that daisies and dandelions are excellent early plants for pollinators which will give them the start they need.

If you don't wish to have your whole lawn grow long, then you can be creative and mow paths or leave islands of long grass which can look attractive.

If you want to be a bit more creative, you could try a Spring meadow which would have an even bigger impact for wildlife. Simply don't mow your lawn at all in the Spring until the end of June or early July. Then mow as normal until the grass stops growing in late Autumn.

You could also add some extra plant life by adding extra wildflowers into the lawn - bird's-foot trefoil, black knapweed and field scabious are excellent flowers to try, as well as yellow rattle which taps into the grass roots, reducing their vigour, allowing other flowers to better thrive.

By doing this simple thing you will encourage more pollinators and other insects into your garden. The seeds from wildflowers will attract more birds and give all these creatures more habitats to thrive as well as being something quite beautiful to watch on a warm summer evening.

If you don't have a garden or you don't wish to do this with your lawn then I hope you enjoy the benefits of the longer grass areas and wildflowers in our parks and green spaces.

2021-05-12 - Wild flowers thriving in an unmown area

 

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5th May 2021: Grazing on our sites: Why it's very important and how each animal does it

Park Ranger - Keith Walder

Hi - my name is Keith and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

We are fortunate to have parts of the South Downs National Park within our remit at the Councils, and we work closely with the South Downs National Park Authority in managing these sites.

As part of this management system we have practised conservation grazing with sheep and cattle on Mill Hill in Shoreham, and we would like to extend this to other downland sites.

Most wildlife habitats require some grazing to maintain the structure on which plants and animals depend for their survival.

When not enough grazing takes place, there are consequences for the habitats which require it in order to sustain the delicate balance of plant, insect, bird and other animal species which make them unique.

There are benefits from using livestock grazing that are not seen when machinery is used.

Insects and small animals can move to safety, as the livestock move slower than a mower and ant hills are not damaged. They can graze on steep slopes where it would be unsafe to use machinery. They can also be moved or positioned to remain in a specific area as required.

Another benefit is the dung produced, which will encourage dung beetles, which are a food source for birds, and that carries on up the food chain. There's also the bonus of not burning any fossil fuels.

Native livestock have been found more suitable for conservation grazing as they do not need as much nutrition as the continental breeds. They also tend to be more placid and forgiving of the public and their dogs. It's important that the type, numbers and timing of grazing is tailored to each individual site.

Different types of livestock graze in different ways, and this influences their suitability for a site:

  • Sheep: Sheep have thin, mobile lips and move slowly while nibbling the grass. They graze very close to the ground and can push their way through scrub and browse saplings, preventing new growth. However, they find it harder to graze longer vegetation which is often trampled instead.
  • Cattle: Cattle use their tongues to pull tufts of vegetation into the mouth. This means they don't graze too close to the ground and often leave tussocks of grass which are used by insects and small mammals. Because of their wide mouths, they don't graze selectively, and don't target flower heads and herbage which is important for botanically diverse habitats. Cattle are able to create their own access into rough areas and the trampling of these areas can be an important way of controlling scrub.
  • Horses and ponies: Horses and ponies have teeth which point slightly forwards and can graze really close to the ground. They are selective grazers and will leave some areas of pasture untouched. This can benefit insects and small mammals. Hardy breeds can also help to control scrub by browsing saplings and other woody material.

We will be working hard with South Downs National Park Authority to ensure that we do the best for these important sites.

See also: South Downs National Park Authority website

Photo: Cattle on Mill Hill in Shoreham

2021-05-05 - Cattle on Mill Hill

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28th April 2021: Spotting different species of birds during breeding season

Park Ranger - Emily Ford

Hi - my name is Emily and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

With Spring well under way and the weather improving, it's the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. It's also the breeding season for many species, particularly birds. During the breeding season you may see some species more regularly as they become more active.

One example of these are Skylarks, a species of ground nesting bird, which flies as high as it can while singing. This is a fairly distinctive tune and means you can try and spot this type of bird in the sky before it lands. Beyond doing these display flights, Skylarks are typically quite hard to see as they are well-camouflaged and live among long grasses in meadows.

Ground nesting birds like the Skylark are easily disturbed, so when out and about it's best to stick to paths and areas of short grass and to keep dogs under close control. This prevents birds from repeatedly getting flushed from the nest, putting chicks and eggs at risk from predators, and from becoming too cold.

While some species choose to nest on the ground others create nests in trees with many of these choosing to use nest boxes - from Great Tits to House Sparrows. While it's too late in the year to put up a nest box for use this season, you can check if any birds have decided to use one of the many nest boxes up in our green spaces.

From a distance of at least five meters away you can observe a nest box if there are chicks inside then you'll see feeding flights every five or so minutes. If you get any closer you could cause a disturbance and prevent the adults from returning. You may be able to hear the chicks calling out for food.

Observing a nest box not only allows you to know that it's being used but also what species is using it. That way if it's not been used this year you can think about repositioning it in the future. Though it's worth noting that birds will often have successional broods if food levels are high enough, and will sometimes use different nest boxes for each brood, so as a rule of thumb it's best not to disturb anything until October.

The most obvious breeding birds and chicks for many are our wetland bird species, such as mallards and swans. Keep an eye out for ducklings and cygnets following behind adults. If you're lucky and see a little grebe or other species of grebe, look out for their young which often ride on the back of the adults.

If you chose to go for a walk and do a bit of bird watching the best time to go is early in the morning or towards dusk. Keep an eye out for swifts and swallows returning from Africa for breeding season. It's also a good time for birds of prey to be performing food passes where one will hover and drop items of prey for the other to catch, as a form of display, and also to feed chicks without having to return to the nest every time.

Among our parks and green spaces there are areas that are great for bird watching, such as Brooklands, Whitebeam Woods, Lancing Ring, Shepherds Mead, and Mill Hill to name a few.

Photo: Great tit on feeder

2021-04-28 - Great tit on feeder

Photo: Mallard ducklings at Brooklands

2021-04-28 - Mallard ducklings at Brooklands

Photo: Female mallard at Brooklands

2021-04-28 - Female mallard at Brooklands

Photo: Female mallard with ducklings at Brooklands

2021-04-28 - Female mallard with ducklings at Brooklands

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21st April 2021: What have the Romans ever done for us?

Hi - my name is Graeme and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

What have the Romans ever done for us? Well they introduced sweet chestnuts to the UK! Or did they?

It has long been believed that sweet chestnuts, the traditional Christmas treat, were introduced to the UK by the Romans during their occupation. Roman soldiers used nuts to ground into a flour to feed the legions and indeed many respected organisations still support this tale.

However, recent research by the University of Gloucester and Historic England has cast doubt on the Romans being responsible for the introduction of chestnuts. They have found only one case where the Romans can be directly linked with chestnuts. The remains of five chestnuts were found at an Essex location and these were likely carried to the UK from Southern Europe. They have discovered no recognised evidence such as pollen records confirming the presence of mature trees during this period. The research is now trying to identify exactly when the trees may have been introduced with the oldest tree identified so far being from 1640.

2021-04-21 - chestnut tree

Now, you might be asking yourself, what has this got to do with the ranger team? We are fortunate that in one of our local parks there are a number of large veteran sweet chestnut trees. These trees which are located in Buckingham Park in Shoreham are the survivors of an avenue of trees planted in the grounds of Buckingham House in around 1740, of which there are only six remaining. Chris from the 'More Trees Please' community group has collected nuts from these remaining trees and used them to propagate new saplings, which he has kindly donated to the council to be used in a project aimed at reinstating the original avenue.

The ranger team are working in partnership with a local tree planting project and with the help of pupils from the local primary school and are now planting these saplings in Buckingham Park. Sweet chestnuts are a fast growing tree and hopefully in 25 years time an avenue of trees will be re-established and these pupils will be returning with their children to show them the trees.

This will be one of the first activities where the ranger team have been able to invite members of the community to work in partnership with us, as we move out of lockdown. The aim is to increase community involvement in the work of our team in our local green spaces. The team are working hard planning events and drop-in sessions with partner organisations, so watch this space!

If you would like to find out more about 'More Trees Please' visit their Facebook page.

Photo: The Buckingham Park chestnuts, picture taken from the 'More Trees Please' Facebook page

2021-04-21 - Buckingham Park

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14th April 2021: Why you should join the new community gardening groups coming to Worthing

Park Ranger - Adam Scott

Hi - my name is Adam and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

I'm going to tell you about some community-based activities that are coming to the Worthing area in the near future.

With the success of different volunteering schemes at other sites across Adur and Worthing, Worthing Borough Council is going to start two new gardening groups at both Homefield Park and Field Place.

The idea of these groups is for the local community to start getting back outside in the fresh air, to meet new people in a relaxed and friendly environment, and take part in some gentle exercise while also helping to make the parks look fantastic.

The details will be posted on the Councils' page when we have clear start dates.

While a bit of weeding and pruning might not seem like the most energetic of activities, studies show that gardening goes beyond providing a good workout, as it can also be therapeutic and help to reduce anxiety as well as physical pain.

Research has shown that prolonged light exercise like gardening can burn more calories than a gym session, in spite of feeling much easier to do. This physical exercise, combined with spending time outdoors being creative and productive, can also improve mood and self-esteem.

Below are just a few ways community gardening can improve your physical and mental health ...

It helps to clear your head: Looking after your mind is just as important as looking after your body. Being in green and nature-filled spaces provides cognitive rest that can help reduce feelings of stress, depression and anxiety.

It boosts your immune system: It's no secret that a daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun helps fight off nasty colds and flus, but did you know that garden dirt can be good for you too? Garden soil contains the friendly bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae, which is most common in garden dirt and is absorbed by the inhalation or ingestion of vegetables. These bacteria have been found to help alleviate symptoms of psoriasis, allergies and asthma.

It helps you meet new people: Gardening, and spending more time outdoors, can help you meet new people and make friends, reducing feelings of depression and loneliness. If you don't have your own garden, why not take the plunge and join a local community garden?

Improved sleep: A good night's sleep (or lack of it) can have a massive impact on our bodies and concentration the following day. Spending time in the garden doing physical work and breathing in fresh air will help tire you out and reduce anxiety levels, all helping you get ready for some quality sleep.

Keep your eyes open for the gardening group announcements, coming soon online.

2021-04-14 - Hand holding a plant about to be planted (Pixabay - 865294)

2021-04-14 - Seedlings (Pixabay - 5009286)

2021-04-14 - Tomatoes in punnets (Pixabay -256426)

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7th April 2021: How we're working to re-establish our much-loved woodland areas

Park Ranger - Craig Ifield

Hi - my name is Craig and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

As Spring comes into full flow and the bulbs, flowers and trees start to bud, it means the planting season has drawn to a close. Now, we can start looking at what to plant, and where, for the next season.

At this time of year we can see the change in the landscape that has been made by local communities, it is also a great time to highlight what more can be done, and the need for more community groups to help.

This year has been the first year in which we have tackled and started to fight back against Ash Dieback, a disease that is said to kill off some 80-97% of all Ash trees. Ash is a pioneer species, meaning it is always one of the first in England to take hold, and can outcompete other native trees.

It is a wonderful tree with many properties, such as being the tree with the lowest water content in England. It is easily identified by its black buds and light green leaves. Many of our sites will be changed forever due to this fungus. You may have seen the removal of the trees over the last few months and the works being carried out.

The Rangers have worked alongside the Arbitsits Team, as well as the South Downs National Park, in planting these woodlands with a wide variety of native woodlands species including Hazel, Whitebeam, Bird Cherry, Oak, Hornbeam, Beech, Small Leaf Lime and Field Maple, which will create a defined woodland and for natural characteristics to develop.

We have planted some 2,000-2,500 trees in the three main areas affected, including Lancing Ring, Sheeps Coomb and The Gallops in Findon Valley. Many of the trees will really start to change the landscape in the next 15 years, however the true woodland will not be fully redeveloped until about 150 years.

Photo: An area of replanted trees

2021-04-07 - An area of replanted trees

We have used plugs and bareroots trees that are 2-3 years old, using these in wooded areas is the best way for a woodland to be reestablished. They can compete more easily with other trees when roots are small and can find alternative channels for their nutrients. However, when planting trees of this size, we do expect to lose a third of them. We have 2,000 more saplings on stand-by for next season to replace the ones that we lose. We have also overplanted in areas to combat this.

It's also important to note that there is already a resistant seed against the fungus that is being germinated and looked after, but again due to the simple nature of the loss and the time nature takes, this will not be effective for many years and results will not really be seen in our lifetimes.

We will be making regular checks of these trees to see how they are doing, I am however also asking all walkers, hikers, cyclists and dog walkers to please report any trees found damaged, including guards and stakes to:

Help us protect these trees and allow for these woodlands to thrive and be a source of wonderment for the next generations.

Photo: Ash trees

2021-04-07 - Ash Trees (Pixabay - 329314)

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31st March 2021: Call for volunteers who want to help improve the parks and green spaces across the area

Anthony Read, Head Ranger

Hi - my name is Anthony and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team. I am the Head Ranger for Adur & Worthing Councils.

Over the last five weeks, my team have each written a blog explaining their roles and the work that the Rangers have been doing. We will all continue to do this on a weekly basis, taking it in turns to keep you updated on all the great work we do - but more importantly - the amazing work that all of the volunteers and friends groups do, on the parks and green spaces we all love.

The Park Rangers have quite a large remit of work, but our main task is to maintain and improve the green spaces across Adur and Worthing. One of the best ways to do this is by working with community groups, volunteers and friends groups to help local communities get as much out of their green spaces as possible.

On this note, if you are interested in volunteering or helping to improve a park or green space in Adur or Worthing, then please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help facilitate this.

Below is a map of the wider area, showing you the patches each Ranger covers. They will be the person to get in touch with regarding any park or green space within their patch.

2021-03-31 - Park Ranger areas in Adur and Worthing

  1. 1 - Anthony Read
  2. 2 - Adam Scott
  3. 3 - Graeme Brooker
  4. 4 - Craig Ifield
  5. 5 - Keith Walder

Find out about our Park Rangers (below)

I cannot emphasise enough the difference that can be made to a green space when the community gets involved, and we have had many successes so far. These partnerships are great to be involved with, so if you happen to see any of the team out and about working on a green space, come and have a chat - and you never know, you might be able to make a difference to your community.

If you would like to volunteer, please email environmentalservices@adur-worthing.gov.uk

2020-12-16 - Friends of up the hills

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24th March 2021: How the Park Rangers are encouraging biodiversity in Shoreham's Buckingham Park

Park Ranger - Keith Walder

Hi - my name is Keith and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

The largest park in my area is Buckingham Park, in Shoreham. The site was part of the grounds of Buckingham House - which served as an army camp during the First World War and became a Council-owned park in 1931.

Most of the park has amenity grass, which is not great for biodiversity. It is usually smaller and lower growing. Biodiversity is the word we use to describe the variety of living things on Earth - from mammals, to birds, to plants and invertebrates, and the habitats they live in. A healthy ecosystem will be able to sustain a wide variety of life.

With this in mind, at Buckingham Park we are not mowing certain areas of grass, which should be beneficial for small mammals and insects, and in turn birds, all of which can enjoy taller grass. We have planted wildflower beds, because a good variety of flowering plants supports more nectar-feeding insects, than grass alone.

Thousands of bulbs have also been planted to help to encourage pollinators along. A third of the world's food that is consumed by humans, is pollinated by insects, so they play a hugely important role.

There is an apiary on the site with three beehives. Each hive is made up mainly of workers, one queen bee, and the rest are drones (males). More bug hotels will be installed around the park to encourage other pollinators, solitary bees, hoverflies and so on to visit.

Fortunately in Buckingham Park we have some wooded areas. Leaving dead wood on the ground is important when it comes to increasing biodiversity. Many organisms feed on and recycle the dead remains of other life, into soil nutrition. More new trees have been and will be planted throughout the site, which will be beneficial to the wildlife and carbon absorption.

We have also been working with community group Apron group to build the new community garden inside Buckingham Park. The range of different flowers and vegetables inside it, among other things, will be good for the local community and the wildlife.

These are just some of the measures being put in place to help increase the biodiversity in the park. It's something we're trying to do across all of our parks and open spaces - because it's not just us humans who enjoy and appreciate them.

Photo: Wildflowers in Buckingham Park, Shoreham

2021-03-24 - Wildflowers in Buckingham Park, Shoreham

Photo: Buckingham Park, Shoreham

2021-03-24 - Buckingham Park, Shoreham

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17th March 2021: Growing your own fruit and veg - good for the mind and the body

Park Ranger - Emily Ford

Hi - my name is Emily and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

This week, with the weather turning more Spring-like, it's time to start thinking about planting this year's crops, for early harvest. Some great seeds to plant now are broad beans, carrots, salad leaves and sorrel - among many others.

A good way to start growing your own fruit and vegetables is by having a dedicated allotment area. Across Adur and Worthing there are 22 allotment sites, all containing plots, which are five or ten rods in size.

Besides the obvious benefit which is that allotments help to provide homegrown, organic and sustainable produce, there are also more hidden benefits, such as the improvement of physical health.

Working on an allotment and gardening in general is a great way to be active. It's also good for mental health as it increases your general sense of wellbeing and reduces loneliness if you're working in a shared allotment space.

If you are interested in getting an allotment in the area, you can find out more online, where you can join waitlists and fill out application forms.

While you wait for one, there are some great ways to get started growing your own produce, such as creating a small vegetable bed in your garden - or a window box for those without gardens. Various fruits and vegetables do well in window boxes, like tomatoes, radishes and even strawberries.

Or, you could join a community garden when lockdown eases and learn how to grow different types of produce, participate in the different gardening activities and become part of a community.

See also:

2021-03-17 - Tomatoes (Pixabay - 3713753)

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10th March 2021: Fighting the war on surface weed at Northbrook Pond

Hi - my name is Graeme and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

This week I'm looking at the war on the 'fairy moss' which is covering a Worthing pond - and the tiny insects we will be using to get rid of it.

I'm fortunate that my 'patch' includes several green spaces that fall within the South Downs National Park and also includes some of our local ponds. One of these ponds is Northbrook Pond in Durrington, the fragmented remains of a much larger farm pond, next to David Lloyd Leisure Club.

If you have been able to visit the pond over the past few summers you will have seen that it has been completely blanketed by surface weed. At first glance you might think the surface of the pond is covered in 'duckweed', but the culprit appears to be the more destructive North American Water Fern (Azolla feliculoides) also known as 'fairy moss'.

It's an invasive species originally sold for use in garden ponds, but now banned from sale in the UK. It's now found in many natural watercourses and is capable of doubling in size every four to five days, covering the water surface with a layer of weed up to 20cms deep. It blocks out all light and de-oxygenates the water, resulting in loss of native flora and fauna.

The Rangers Team have been looking at ways of removing this weed and restoring the pond. It's impossible to remove by hand, as every single piece of weed would need to be removed and the plant produces spores, which would quickly re-grow.

There is one licensed herbicide for use in the UK, but this is not an option as this would also destroy other valuable species - so what is the answer?

The solution is a biological control in the shape of a tiny 2mm insect. In its native America, the water fern is the food plant of the weevil (Stenopelmus rufinas). Research has shown that the weevils are capable of clearing an overgrown pond over the course of a season, and in addition they do not cause harm to any other plants.

So this Spring, if you see the Rangers crawling around Northbrook Pond with boxes of bugs, come over and say hello and hopefully we can show you our secret weapon in the war on the fairy moss.

2021-03-10 - Weevil (Pixabay - 560770)

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3rd March 2021: Five benefits of exercising outside in our parks and public spaces

Park Ranger - Adam Scott

Hi - my name is Adam and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

This week I'm looking at the benefits of getting back outside to exercise during the lighter evenings, and as Government restrictions are set to ease over the Spring and Summer ...

I really enjoy trying to make the experiences people have in our parks and open spaces good ones, whether that's working with community groups to improve them, or consulting the public about new ideas and equipment that we can provide to enhance peoples' quality of life in our local area.

Exercising during the pandemic has been tricky with gyms being closed, other lockdown restrictions, and the weather being uninviting at best - so it's been hard at times to want to take that step outside. But with Spring just around the corner and glimpses of warmer weather, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

From 8th March 2021, people will be allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, if they are eligible for one, or with one person outside their household.

With that in mind here are five reasons to be excited about getting back outside in the fresh air, and getting fit and healthy, ready for the summer:

  • Lower blood pressure and reduced stress levels: Studies have shown that physical activity outdoors lowers a person's blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, exercise outdoors feels less strenuous than similar exercise indoors.
  • Help with insomnia: When you exercise outdoors, you get fresh air which often helps to alleviate insomnia. Regular exercise and fresh air can help you to fall asleep faster and also improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Sunshine: While training outdoors you can also enjoy the benefits of sunshine, which causes our bodies to produce Vitamin D. This Vitamin has multiple roles, including promoting healthy bones and teeth and supporting lung function and cardiovascular health.
  • It's free: Outdoor workouts are often completely free of charge. You can use parks, public spaces, outdoor gyms and ball courts without spending a penny.
  • You can try something new: Take your workout to a new level and try something new. Create a whole new routine or try new activities such as Yoga or a calisthenics workout.

Worthing Borough Council is investing in the Windsor Lawns outside gym equipment - but we need your help.

We are carrying out an online survey to help us decide what type of equipment the community would like installed. Whether it's more calisthenics or traditional outdoor gym equipment, an area to do ground workouts with dedicated graphics to enhance the experience.

Have your say:

Photo: Visitors to Goring seafront taking a walk at sunset

2021-03-03 - Goring seafront at sunset

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24th February 2021: Almost 50 new trees will be planted in Brooklands Park - here are the benefits

Park Ranger - Craig Ifield

Hi - my name is Craig and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

This week I would like to take the opportunity to highlight the work that will be taking place at Brooklands Park as of next week. We will be undertaking the planting of 46 trees along the fence that is shared with Western Road, adding a variation of trees that will provide the park with more shelter, colour and wildlife.

These trees will contend with pollution, strong winds and salt water as well as a varied soil quality - but we are confident these magnificent organisms are up to the test and will act as safe havens for local wildlife.

Because of the location at which these trees are to be planted, they will also act as sound barriers and will block the noise and pollution from the busy Western Road, and the industrial estate. In order for these to make an impact right away we have chosen large, standard trees - some being 80 litre root balls. It will still take time for the trees to reach their full beneficial potential, however as the years go by they will filter the air and absorb carbon from the surrounding area.

2021-02-24 - Trees ready for planting

The tree-planting work will be carried out by the Rangers team. We will be social distancing, and working only with Friends of Brooklands Committee members. We are sorry that no one else can help, as I know many others are keen to help us with these projects, but there will be more opportunities at later dates - so please contact the Friends of Brooklands to be kept up to date with calls for help when the time is right.

These trees are just a small number of trees that allow for there to be a connecting patch work across the Adur and Worthing area. Brooklands, in terms of ecology, plays a huge role in linking the coastline to the South Downs, and we work closely with Sompting Parish Council and Sompting Estates to ensure these patch works work cohesively and have the maximum ecological impact.

If you are interested in helping in future projects or wish to carry out your own tree planting next season, please contact the Park Rangers or for Brooklands specifically, contact the Friends of Brooklands.

See also: How to become a tree warden - on our SpringForward page

2021-02-24 - Trees waiting to be planted

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17th February 2021: The importance of bird boxes for wildlife over Spring and throughout Winter

Park Ranger - Craig Ifield

Hi - my name is Craig and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

This week I'd like to highlight the excellent work done by the 'Friends of Brooklands', who are helping to transform Brooklands Park in their own way helping to work inside and outside of Adur & Worthing Councils' Brookland Park Masterplan.

The group has been active for some time now and have conducted various activities, from Halloween events in the amphitheater, to maintenance of the park, to planting trees as well as seeding the wildflower meadow. They have remained active during these difficult times we all are facing, and have led their own project involving gaining bird boxes for the site, along with well feeders. They have around 58 boxes that they and the Rangers will put up. I would like to thank the Men in Sheds Lancing and Sompting group for making the boxes for us, and Worthing Birding and Wildlife Group for bringing the idea forward.

2021-02-17 - Bird boxes and feeders

As we start to welcome Spring, now is the time for homes for birds and bats to be built and put up. There is never a shortage of small birds, in particular robins and various song birds, at Brooklands Park. Once the new boxes are up, we will be sharing maps and information on where they are, and creating a trail to allow visitors to wander the park and spot the varied birds that inhabit it.

These boxes will provide a home for many mating birds, and for young chicks to thrive in before they are ready to make their own way into the world. They will act as a shelter for the many birds that may struggle to build a nest, or those seeking shelter. The boxes act as replacements for holes in trees that many small birds such as robins, would otherwise nest in. They may also bring in more birds to the site, as where there is an abundance of food and shelter wildlife thrives.

There are many other functions to these boxes other than just allowing for the fletching of chicks. Some species of bird lose 78 per cent of their numbers during the winter months, and these types of boxes, even if just used for a few days or which act as temporary shelter, help birds fight back against these losses. The boxes allow more time for birds to roost, helping them to keep warm in the winter and be protecting them from predators.

Another thing to note is that when these boxes are up you may see different types of behaviour from the different birds that wish to use them. Many variations of the tit family will be seen hovering around the entrance or pecking away. This is not necessarily the bird taking much interest in the box, but usually means a male is showing off and trying to attract a female. Nuthatches often enlarge the entrance then refill it to their liking with mud, making it the perfect fit just for them.

If you see some of the Friends of Brooklands or the Rangers out this week putting up boxes please do not be alarmed, and please do not remove them or tamper with them. Each box is being placed in an area and place best suited for the bird type that they are built for, maximising their impact.

See also:

2021-02-17 - Bird boxes

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3rd February 2021: Looking after our playgrounds

Park Ranger - Craig Ifield

Hi - my name is Craig and I am the blogger of the week from the Park Rangers' Team.

One of the biggest aspects of the Rangers role is looking after the 42 playgrounds across Adur and Worthing. Our team is trained in routine and operational inspections, and we inspect all playgrounds once a week for any dangers that may be present - ensuring they are within health and safety guidelines and meet the set criteria.

This is a crucial part of our role, and due to dealing with different equipment for different ages, it can be tricky to ensure it all meets the standards which have been changing since the 1950s. Physical safety is important for children's wellbeing.

We also know that playing is linked to children's mental wellbeing. It is integrated into society and included in children's general learning. Play allows for creative thinking as well as problem solving. The simple act of play increases positive engagement, enjoyment and satisfaction as well as revitalisation.

Various studies have shown time and time again that playing allows children to create their own solution when faced with a problem. Something as simple as how to get from A to B on a climbing frame - it is their choice. This solving may seem very basic, but there is cognitive thinking taking place, which links to academic problem solving.

Physical play is also linked, with no surprise, to physical wellbeing and development. Play can be a form of exercise for children, 20 minutes a day allows for healthy development. Children can also get their source of vitamin D by playing outside, which helps to build the immune system and reduces depression and anxiety. This simple act of playing outdoors has also been linked to decreased confusion and anger.

Another benefit, which is much needed right now, is that it means children can release pent-up energy, tensions and frustrations. This allows for more focus in classes including home-schooling classes. It also sends signals through the brain that creates a calmer mindset.

The Green Mind Theory links being outdoors to reducing stress and anxiety. It sends reactions through the body to make you happier and means you are more engaged with what is in front of you, so in a sense you are switching off from the stresses in life for a moment.

I know that's difficult to do right now with limited time outdoors, but I hope this means we appreciate the time we do have outside more. Utilise the opportunities you get to their full potential.

When using playgrounds, practise social distancing and use hand sanitiser. They are not the only place that play can take place, so use the wonderful green spaces across Adur and Worthing and allow children to create their own games.

2021-02-03 - Playground swing (Pixabay - 1188132)

2021-02-03 - Children running on a path in a park (Pixabay - 5630669)

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About our Park Ranger bloggers:

Our Rangers are listed below - and at the bottom of the page is a map of the areas the Rangers cover.

Craig Ifield:

Park Ranger - Craig Ifield

Craig is a Park Ranger at Adur & Worthing Councils. His main role is to maintain our parks and open spaces. This includes working with green space volunteer community groups across Adur and Worthing helping them with various projects and supporting them in developing their groups.

Craig's background is with the The Conservation Volunteers charity as a project officer working to enable communities in Adur and Worthing to improve their health and wellbeing.

Adam Scott:

Park Ranger - Adam Scott

Adam has worked for the Councils for over 16 years - with the majority of his time spent in parks and playgrounds. Adam says:

“Hi everyone, my name's Adam Scott I'm a Park Ranger in the Worthing area. I really enjoy trying to make the experiences people have in our parks and open spaces good ones, whether that's working with community groups to improve them, or consulting the public about new ideas and equipment that we can provide to enhance people's quality of life in our local area.”

Graeme Brooker:

Graeme has a background in countryside management. Graeme says:

“Having grown up in Worthing, much of my childhood was spent in the surrounding countryside and I grew up with a passion for the outdoors. I'm fortunate that my 'patch' includes several green spaces that fall within the South Downs National Park.”

Emily Ford:

Park Ranger - Emily Ford

Emily says:

“I am a Leisure Attendant within the parks department, where I help to manage the allotments and parks. Before I worked for the Council I was an intern for the RSPB and have a background in nature conservation and ecology.”

Keith Walder:

Park Ranger - Keith Walder

Keith says:

“I am the Park Ranger for the Adur District, east of the River Adur.”

 

Anthony Read:

Anthony Read, Head Ranger

Anthony is the Head Ranger for Adur & Worthing Councils.

 

Map:

Below is a map of the wider area, showing you the patches each Ranger covers. They will be the person to get in touch with regarding any park or green space within their patch.

2021-03-31 - Park Ranger areas in Adur and Worthing

  1. 1 - Anthony Read
  2. 2 - Adam Scott
  3. 3 - Graeme Brooker
  4. 4 - Craig Ifield
  5. 5 - Keith Walder

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Page last updated: 12 May 2021