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


1st December 2021: National Tree Week

Emily Ford, Park Ranger

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

This week marks National Tree Week - the UK's largest annual celebration of trees! And with the winter planting season arriving, trees are being installed across the country.

There are various reasons as to why new trees are being planted. Perhaps one of the most known benefits of planting any species of tree is their ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and produce oxygen. The removal of CO2 helps to prevent further global warming.

Did you know that a young mixed species woodland can absorb over 400 tonnes of carbon in their lifetime? They're also good at removing other types of pollution from the air. The trees of Greater London for example are able to remove 850 tonnes of harmful particulate matter a year.

As well as removing carbon dioxide, trees are also able to lower air temperatures and reduce humidity in summers - something which is vital in keeping both our towns and cities livable and reducing cases of heat related illnesses. Trees, and other vegetation help to shade the urban landscape which allows for surfaces to cool and the air temperature to decrease.

Along with climate effects, trees are highly important habitats; the oak tree alone is able to support 2,300 species with 326 of those being solely dependent on the oak for their survival. This in part is why it's so important to plant native species across our green spaces.

The mixture of geography across the UK has led to a variety of habitats to be formed, from the chalk downland areas synonymous with the South Downs to the ancient woodlands of Scotland - each of these require different forms of care.

Sometimes this management can look counterintuitive and can involve the removal of saplings from the areas. This in general is to stop encroachment and to stop rare habitats from being lost to woodland.

Lowland chalk grassland is one of Europe's most diverse habitats and supports a whole range of wildlife, from wildflowers and insects to mammals and birds, with many of these species being specialists and unable to live anywhere else.

Over the next few months, the Rangers, as well as the Grounds Maintenance teams, will be working with our arborists and various community groups to plant native species; such as hazel, spindle, bird cherry and hawthorn among many others.

We look forward to working with the community at these public events and will update you on any progress during our future stories.

Until next time, Emily.

See also: 

2021-12-01 - Looking vertically up into the green tree canopy and leaves (Pexels - felix-mittermeier - 957024)

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24th November 2021: The drive to encourage tree and wildflower planting

Graeme Brooker, Park Ranger

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

If you watch the news, visit news websites or read the paper, you cannot have missed the drive to encourage tree and wildflower planting.

Adur & Worthing Councils are also increasing tree and wildflower planting. This is for two reasons:

  • to replace those trees we have lost through disease
  • and as part of our response to the climate emergency to mitigate carbon emissions

Last winter the ranger team planted more than 3,500 tree whips across Adur and Worthing as part of the response to ash dieback, a large number of diseased trees were felled at Lancing Ring, The Gallops and Sheepcombe Hanger. These were replaced with a mixture of native hardwoods including Field Maple, Bird Cherry. Beech, Oak and Hazel.

Photo: Hazel whips planted at Whitebeam Woods

2021-11-24 - Hazel whips planted at Whitebeam Woods

This winter some of the diseased trees at The Sanctuary will be removed and the area will be replanted with a mix of native hardwoods. In addition to the whips planted to replace the diseased trees, the parks team also planted more than 150 standard trees across all our sites.

This winter we are also planting as additional 150-plus standard trees alongside the whips being planted to replace the felled ash. Additionally, several local volunteer groups will be undertaking planting at several sites across the area.

Photo: Planting in recovery of felled diseased trees at Lancing Ring

2021-11-24 - Planting in recovery of felled diseased trees at Lancing Ring

We have also started planning our wildflower planting for next year and have identified 1,300m² across our sites that will be sown with wildflower seeds, and we have chosen a range of seed mixes which consider the habitat, species present and soil conditions.

A key example is The Gallops where a calcareous mix which reflects those species already found on the site is going to be sown. We are also looking at a variety of bulb mixes which will provide successional flowering and will culminate in pollinator friendly varieties.

Photo: Wildflowers at Goring Green

2021-11-24 - Wildflowers at Goring Green

If you are planning on planting trees and wildflowers there are a few things you need to consider:

What species are you going to plant?

Ideally in natural areas, only plant native species, although in gardens and parks non-native species can be planted. If you are planting non-native species, or potentially invasive species, consider the risk if these were to spread, across some of our sites species such as snowberry and three-cornered leek are proving difficult to control. The species chosen need to withstand any future changes in the climate and the councils' tree officers are already planning decades ahead using computer projected climate changes.

Where are you going to plant them?

Do you have the landowner's permission? The landowner may already have plans for the site which could be affected by unauthorised planting. Are the conditions suitable for your selected species, what is the soil type, how much light reaches the area and how dry or damp is the site?

Where are you going to get them from?

The trees and seeds should always be obtained from a reputable supplier to reduce the risk of spreading disease, and you should ensure the trees and seeds are collected in a responsible way.

This leads to the subject of seed-bombing - is it a good thing?

Well this is a case of yes and no! The usual seed planting considerations apply and it is essential that seed bombs are sown appropriately. Earlier in the year I came across an area of chalk grassland that had been seed-bombed with various garden species and had to remove these to reduce the risk of them spreading and destroying the surrounding chalk grassland.

If you are going to seed bomb the usual rules apply - is it the right species, is it the right place and do you have the landowner's permission?

See also:

Photo: Chalk grassland

2021-11-24 - Chalk grassland

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17th November 2021: Gull Island revamp and the benefits of playgrounds

2021-11-17 - Adam Scott

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

I’m here to share with you why children’s play equipment is so important to their development, and to update you on the partial refurbishment that is currently going on in Gull Island by Splashpoint Leisure Centre.

With the refurbishment of the park in full flow, it’s really starting to take shape. I want to talk to you about some of the new items of equipment and how they can help aid children’s development in so many different ways.

Although I will be talking about the new equipment going into the playground, the learning and development it prompts can be found in many of the parks in Adur and Worthing.

Photo: The Gull Island site on Worthing seafront

2021-11-17 - The Gull Island site

Within this blog I will refer to ‘gross motor skills’, but what are gross motor skills?

Gross motor skills involve moving, strengthening and learning to control the large muscles in the arms, legs and torso. Developing these groups of muscles are vital to aid every day activities like walking, running, throwing, lifting, jumping etc.

Believe it or not, gross motor skills are the very early stages of achieving good hand writing skills! – Strong fingers, hands and arms will help children to have the strength and dexterity to hold and manipulate a pencil effectively with good control.

Below I’ve listed the new equipment that is due to be installed at Gull Island and I’ve given a brief overview of some of the skills, educational benefits and life long skills the equipment will offer and provide the children.

Net Climber: In a nutshell, this piece of equipment is perfect for developing the above mentioned gross motor skills, for example, to fully enjoy this piece of equipment children will need to climb, duck and balance. The Net Climber also promotes hand eye coordination and spatial awareness. These skills are essential for handwriting, throwing, catching and other P.E. based activities in school. We are not finished yet, using the Net Climber offers children the chance to take calculated risks, making them more aware of their bodies. It can also promote problem-solving skills which are a crucial element within maths and science.

Sand Play: Children of all ages love playing in sand, but did you know that it has many educational and social benefits too? The new sand tower is great for early scientific enquiry, introducing children to a basic pulley system which has fabulous physics links. Children can also experience and learn about the pull of gravity whilst pouring sand down the sand tube. Parents can encourage their children to use early mathematical language whilst chatting about the basket being “full and empty”, while also expanding on problem solving with wet and dry sand on the sieve element. One of the main things that can come out of using the sand tower is enhancing social skills through teamwork and turn taking.

2021-11-17 - Some of the new equipment at Gull Island

Play Panels: Whilst play panels are never the main attractions of playgrounds, they have their merits in the overall enjoyment, learning and development of skills in young children. We are lucky enough to have three being installed within Gull Island. These boards will encourage imaginative play. Imaginative play is an integral part of allowing children to express themselves which can help children to become more confident and imaginative writers in the future. We will have treasure maps and mazes which will once again support early mathematical language with words such as ‘up, down, left, right, forward and backwards’ being used to name but a few.

Toddler Climbing Towers: This fabulous climbing unit is aimed at pre-school aged children. It offers three different ways of getting onto the piece of equipment allowing children a range of challenges depending on their level of development. The climbing tower also helps to build on their gross motor, balance and coordination skills. Enjoying this piece of equipment will see children having to duck, crawl and climb, all of which aid a childs’ sense of spatial awareness, which can be a massive step to master for the 0 to 3 year olds.

Wooden Boat: This item, while it doesn’t actually move, doesn’t mean that the children can’t make it move through the power of their imagination! Engaging in imaginative play can be a quick and easy way of children making new friends and developing those all important social skills. This type of play helps to build self confidence in the children as they act out different roles, practise expressing feelings and sharing their thoughts and ideas with others. A child who is self-confident and happy has the tools and skills to adapt and create friends moving forward in life.

By offering children these new pieces of equipment we are excited by all the potential, learning, development and fun that we are offering your children. It is so important for children’s future that they can challenge themselves and others and learn how to take calculated risks in a safe and purpose built environment.

Although Gull Island will still be closed for a few more weeks, we are excited to see families enjoying the space and equipment in the future and for many years to come.

2021-11-17 - Gull Island playground on Worthing seafront

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10th November 2021: Green Flag Awards 2021-22

Craig Ifield, Park Ranger

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

This week I am really pleased to highlight the great works of the Friends of groups across the Adur & Worthing Councils' area. We have received our judging results of the Green Flag Awards 2021-22 over the last few weeks and it has been great sharing this with the hard-working and dedicated Friends that have managed to achieve this high accolade. This is a nationally recognised award to spaces that achieve:

“Being a welcoming safe health and secure place, being well maintained and clean and being well environmentally managed for biodiversity in cohesion with community involvement and engagement.”

This year for Worthing we were awarded eight green flags for our green spaces and an additional community award for the wonderful works of Heene Cemetery. We have maintained the flags for Beach House Park, Field Place, Marine Gardens and Highdown Gardens.

In Adur we maintained Lancing Manor and Buckingham Park. We have also achieved and additional two flags, one for Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and another for Lancing Ring LNR.

None of this work would not be able to be achieved without the constant enthusiasm of the groups that love their green spaces and help great community assets and lovely places to be. These groups have huge influence and input into these plans, highlighting the history and importance of the site. They showcase how the sites have been used over the years and how they benefit their local communities, being areas of sanctuary, calm and peace for many over the decades.

When writing the documents, it is their voices that shine through to really show the day to day love and need for such spaces. It is their passion that shows how each space is unique to their community, each one providing something different for the people around it as well as the different ecosystems that cover the Adur and Worthing area.

These groups have huge access when it comes to maintenance of these sites, and carry out works with the Council to improve and maintain such sites. Many have come to the Council with ideas and desires on how to transform the park, from community gardens in Buckingham Park to updating water features in Marine Gardens, which the Park Rangers and groups have worked together to achieve.

Many groups also run regular task days carrying out these works or general maintenance for removing invasive species to planting trees, bulbs or sowing seeds. These groups are a true asset to these parks and their community, so we thank you.

For more about green flags please see the:

Thank you to the following groups for all their hard work,

  • Friends of Shoreham Beach
  • Friends of Lancing Ring
  • Community gardens works at Buckingham Park
  • Friends of Marine Gardens
  • Friends of Heene Cemetery
  • Volunteers at Highdown
  • Creative waves and volunteers at Beach House Park
  • Gardening group at Field Place

If you wish to know more about these groups or wish to get involved please contact:

I would also like to extend a thank you to all other groups on the Green Flag site.

Photo: Craig (second right) and his fellow Rangers, plus Cllr Edward Crouch (left), presenting the Green Flag Award to the Friends of Marine Gardens

2021-11-10 - Presenting the Green Flag award to the Friends of Marine Gardens

Photo: Friends of Marine Gardens preparing to fly the 2021-22 Green Flag at Marine Gardens

2021-11-10 - Friends of Marine Gardens preparing to fly the 2021-22 Green Flag at Marine Gardens

Photo: Views from Lancing Ring towards Shoreham

2021-11-10 - Views from Lancing Ring towards Shoreham

 

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3rd November 2021: Let's talk about spiders!

Hi, my name's Zara Breden and I'm a Kickstarter working with the Park Rangers Team here at the Councils.

Today, my blog is on something that some of us have a great fear of. What is this, you wonder? Spiders!

We all know someone who jumps out of their skin whenever they cross paths with a spider. Spiders are often thought of as monstrous invertebrates. It is easy to see why so many people suffer from arachnophobia. Those long legs and quick movement can be hard to process.

But spiders can be an incredibly useful tool in the invertebrate family. They are responsible for catching flies and other insects, which can become pests in big numbers. Many people believe that anything creepy crawly is an insect, but spiders are actually arachnids, along with scorpions.

The biology of spiders differs from insects entirely.

Insects themselves have six legs and three body parts (head, the thorax and abdomen). Their abdomen is also split into three parts - the Prothorax, the Mesothorax and the Metathorax.

Arachnids, however, have eight legs and two body segments - the Cephalothorax and Abdomen. 

2021-11-03 - Spider and web (Pixabay - 208577)

Insect and spider eyes differ immensely:

Insects have both compound eyes (used to capture basic imagery and different directions) and Oceli (detect movement).

You would think with eight eyes spiders would have better vision. Most arachnids are nocturnal, but their sight is generally very poor. This is because spiders do not have ocelli, just compound eyes. Even though most spiders do not have great vision, there are some species of spiders that have better eyesight.

For example, the UK's Zebra Jumping Spider (Salticus scenicus). According to scientists, Zebra jumping spiders have six extra eyes behind their head, giving them a 360-degree view. Their eyes are also so specialised that they can see us humans with extreme accuracy.

2021-11-03 - Zebra jumping spider (Pixabay - 6337672)

The question people are asking is: why are spiders coming into our home?

Oddly, male spiders are known to seek out the female spiders, who wait indoors. Our warm houses provide the perfect space for spiders to lay their eggs and hide away from the cold outside. Spiders can often be found inside clothes or washing left around or in your wardrobe or dark corners. They do this as the dark spaces provide them with the perfect living and breeding conditions.

If you find these spiders, do not squish or disturb them. These incredible arachnids are living things just like us and deserve a chance to thrive too. Just open a window, gently lift them into a glass jar and let them out carefully. Most spiders in the UK are harmless.

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27th October 2021: Creating a sensory garden in Steyne Gardens

Anthony Read, Park Ranger

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

This week has seen the first plants being planted for a project that has been in the making since before the COVID-19 pandemic changed all our lives.

Late in 2019 I was contacted by Barry Ward from Sight Support Worthing (SSW) to discuss the possibility of a sensory garden being created in the sunken garden at Steyne Gardens. SSW had some money they wanted to spend on creating a garden for visually-impaired people to enjoy along with everyone else. This would involve plants that are specifically selected for their scent, touch, colour and sound.

I started working with them in the late winter of 2019/2020 with plans to start the planting with SSW in the spring of 2020 but unfortunately the pandemic hit with various lockdowns and as some of the volunteers from SSW are more vulnerable to Covid, the decision was made to postpone the project until such a time that all the volunteers who wanted to attend could.

Thankfully, that was this summer and autumn, so we started with some clearing work and preparing of the beds which took place over a few task days through the late summer and early autumn and then the first plants went in on Tuesday 26th October 2021 with a dozen volunteers there to help. We had 40 plants and approximately 500 bulbs to plant along with splitting and transplanting some of the plants already in place.

2021-10-27 - Three volunteers planting plants to creating a sensory garden in Steyne Gardens

The design of the garden has come from SSW with help from Sussex Prairie Gardens and fully supported by the Park Rangers team. The project involves plants that are better suited to the climate that we are now experiencing with drier summers and wetter winters being the case.

There was a great buzz around the garden with everyone busy doing something all of the time. The youngest volunteers, Ashley and his brother Andrew being nine and four respectively, up to the oldest volunteer at 91 all doing their bit.

2021-10-27 - Some of the volunteers involved in creating a sensory garden in Steyne Gardens

We will be planting more plants in the spring which will further enhance the garden and will be doing a few task days over the winter to just keep the gardens and the new plants in tip-top condition.

Working with volunteers who have an interest in the greens spaces in and around Adur and Worthing really is one of the best parts of the Park Rangers' work and makes such a difference to the areas and brings communities together in a way that is a joy to witness.

If you are interested in helping to improve a green space near you, all you need to do is contact us and we will do our best to accommodate and help you with any ideas you may have:

Find out more about Sight Support Worthing on their website.

Photo: The volunteers taking a well deserved break

2021-10-27 - Sight Support Worthing having a well deserved break while creating a sensory garden in Steyne Gardens

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20th October 2021: Help save our hedgehogs

Keith Walder, Park Ranger

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

As we move into winter I would like you to give a thought for the gardener's friend ... the hedgehog.

Hedgehogs are in serious decline. Although it is difficult to accurately monitor numbers, it is believed they could be down by half in rural areas and by a third in urban areas.

There was thought to be about 1.5 million in 1995 and now less than 500,000.

Loss of habitat, hedgerows and woodland may be a major factor, depriving the species of food and shelter from badger predation.

The use of pesticides may also reduce the food supply. In urban areas the use of impenetrable fencing, loss of greenery and increasing development is thought to be negatively impacting hedgehog populations. Another threat is roads as thousands are killed by cars each year.

Hedgehogs were named due to their peculiar foraging method as they root through hedges and undergrowth in search of food they make pig-like noises. They are widely spread throughout western europe and were introduced into New Zealand in the 19th Century.

2021-10-20 - Hedgehog (Pixabay - 439735)

Their spines are made from keratin - the same as our fingernails, they have poor vision but excellent hearing and sense of smell. Nocturnal insectivores are solitary creatures that only come together for mating.

The gestation period for hedgehogs is 35 to 40 days. There is normally a litter of between three and seven. The young spend up to eight weeks with their mother. They become sexually mature at 12 months old.

They sleep in nests which may just be a pile of leaves or a compost heap and may travel up to two miles a night in search of food.

They typically hibernate from late December to early March, depending on the weather and the individual hog. Some will hibernate earlier or later or not at all.

Underweight hedgehogs will not survive hibernation. These are usually juveniles born too late to put on weight. If they haven't reached 600g by the end of November and we get a cold snap they may enter hibernation and quickly burn through their fat reserves.

If you see a small hedgehog in December, it will need to be overwintered, where they need to be kept indoors at a constant temperature of 18°C (or 65°F) so they don't go into hibernation.

Contact our wonderful local animal rescue service WADARS and they will be able to help.

If you do accidentally disturb a hibernating hedgehog, do not move it, cover it over with leaves and put some water and cat or dog food nearby in case it wakes up which burns up fat.

If you are lucky enough to have hedgehogs visiting your garden in autumn and early winter it is the essential time to feed them, but not with bread and milk as hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. Feeding them cat or dog food with a dish of water will be gratefully received!

2021-10-20 - Hedgehog eating pet food (Pixabay - 1777957)

Encouraging insects to your garden will help as they are their natural food source.

We will be putting some hedgehog boxes on some of our suitable sites to give them somewhere safe to hibernate.

And one last thought - if you are having a bonfire this November, please check it for hedgehogs before you light it.

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13th October 2021: Improving Bourne Close Park and Playground

Emily Ford, Park Ranger

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

If you are a frequent visitor to Bourne Close you may notice some changes to the park this week. We've been busy at work, removing vegetation and lifting the tree line upwards, focusing particularly in the spaces around the fence lines and in the areas between play equipment. This has made space in the hope of creating a more open and welcoming environment within the site.

In Bourne Close, the level of vegetation that has grown up over the years has increased and taken over various areas of the playground.

While increased trees and scrub is good in most sites - helping to increase wildlife and increasing the biodiversity of the area - it is important that the vegetation is in the right place and doesn't prevent the use of greenspaces, especially within urban areas.

The increased vegetation in Bourne Close reduced the sight lines and light levels in the playground area, making the area feel more closed off and less welcoming. This has excluded various people from using the playground, reducing the feeling of safety in the playground, and also potentially helping to contribute to antisocial behaviour.

The work to remove this vegetation was assisted by the arboricultural team and the reactive ground maintenance team, allowing for some of the larger branches to be removed and for the easy removal of the cut items via chipping on site.

A second team will at some point complete this clearance work, and we are hoping to get the safety surfacing jet washed soon to remove the moss that has started growing there.

Removing this vegetation has increased the visibility within the playground. Better sightlines, or unobstructed view, are highly important in playgrounds.

They help to maintain a sense of safety in a playground, allowing adults with multiple children to keep them all in sight easily while enabling the children to explore and enjoy the space freely.

They also help children to be able to see the adult that is in a space with them, which can improve their confidence and independence in a safe manner, while also allowing them to play with other children their age without having to worry about getting lost.

The increased visibility will remove the level of blind spots in the space, which will hopefully reduce anti-social behaviour.

Opening up the lower canopy of the area has also increased the light levels, allowing for sunlight to enter through the canopies and to travel through to the different sections of the playground. Increasing the light levels allows for the site to be used for longer hours in the winter periods when it gets darker earlier in the day.

The hope with all this work is not only to open the space back up but to also make an important community asset more usable for everyone in the community.

Photos: Before and after showing clearer sight lines through the trees, along paths and across and around the playground and park

2021-10-13 - Before & after - clearer sight lines through trees & across the playground & park at Bourne Close (1)

2021-10-13 - Before & after - clearer sight lines through trees & across the playground & park at Bourne Close (2)

2021-10-13 - Before & after - clearer sight lines through trees & across the playground & park at Bourne Close (3)

2021-10-13 - Before & after - clearer sight lines through trees & across the playground & park at Bourne Close (4)

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6th October 2021: Re-naturing our green spaces

Graeme Brooker, Park Ranger

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

As part of Adur & Worthing Councils’ commitment to reduce carbon and increase biodiversity, the Park Ranger team has been looking at the way we manage our sites.

Included in our sites for re-naturing are Cissbury Fields, located at the base of Cissbury Ring and The Gallops in Findon Valley. Cissbury Fields was previously leased to a local farmer who managed the site as agricultural land, the site was regularly ‘topped’ with a tractor which encouraged the growth of pasture grass whilst reducing the growth of wild flower species. Also, on at least one occasion, the site was sprayed with herbicide to reduce the growth of wildflower species. All these management techniques have resulted in a reduction in the site's biodiversity, and in turn, the soil becoming enriched.

On many of our sites there are no biological records of the species present, so like many others, Cissbury Fields has been allowed to grow for a complete year to give those species present in the seed bank a chance to grow, while an additional ecological survey has been carried out by a qualified ecologist.

The ecologist recorded more than 130 plant species across the 42-hectare site and confirmed that, as you would expect on a site managed for agriculture, coarse grass species dominated. The good news is that there are a significant number of key chalk grassland species present and the correct management would reduce the percentage of grass and increase flower species.

Photo: Cissbury Fields, Worthing

2021-10-06 - Cissbury Fields, Worthing

Initially we had already planned to manage the site by means of a hay cut and this was the key suggestion from the ecologist. Working with rangers from the SDNPA we arranged for several farmers to visit the site, the intention was that one of the farmers would cut the site and take the hay as payment. Unfortunately, due to the high amount of dog waste on the site, none of the farmers were able to take the hay, as the dog waste is highly toxic to livestock.

Diseases that may pass from dogs waste to livestock include Neospora, which causes abortion in farm animal species and Sarcocystis that causes neurological problems and abortion in sheep.

Consequently, at this stage the site remains uncut due to these issues and we are looking into alternative ways of managing this site for this season.

The Gallops is a completely different type of site, managed as an agricultural site up until at least the 1950s when the bungalows in Findon Valley were built. The northern end was managed as a hay meadow, whilst the southern end was used for growing crops including potatoes and cabbages. The more recent management for this site was regular mowing, producing a thick grass sward. However, this season the site was left uncut to allow any dormant wildflower species to grow.

This site was previously designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation for the presence of particular chalk grassland species around the edges of the mown area and is now designated as a Local Wildlife Site with the Sussex Wildlife Trust for the same species.

Photo: A rich wildflower mix at the Gallops, Worthing

2021-10-06 - Wildflowers at the Gallops, Worthing

Anyone who has visited the site this summer will have noticed the diverse range of wildflower species present at the northern end including four species of orchid. As you travelled south down The Gallops there was a rapid decline in wildflower species with the lower half producing very few wildflower species. It is clear that the historic management of the northern end as hay meadow produced a more diverse seed bank which has quickly allowed some species to become established.

The action of allowing the site to grow uncut this season, whilst unpopular with some users, has achieved its aim by allowing a more sympathetic management plan to be produced for the site. At present, the mowing plan is to regularly cut the lower two-thirds to produce 'amenity-type’ grassland for dog walkers and children to play, whilst the top third will be left uncut with some pathways to encourage the growth of wildflower species. The area left un-mown will be cut in late summer/early autumn using cut and collect techniques to remove the cuttings. These cuttings can then be used to increase the strength of the seed bank around the edges of the site which will remain uncut.

There have been changes across all sites in Adur and Worthing, with either part or all of most sites being allowed to grow, many people have accused the councils of trying to save money or not caring. Ironically the opposite is true, with the long-term management requiring specialist equipment and more labour-intensive management techniques. These changes will ensure an increase in biodiversity and increased carbon storage. As a team, the rangers are now looking at the mowing plans and additional planting on the sites we manage to achieve the challenging goals that have been set.

The road towards restoring or increasing biodiversity across all our sites is a long one and it will take several years before we start to see real results on some sites. These initial steps may appear untidy compared to the management we have become used to, however the science is clear that with the correct management and support from the public there is the potential to achieve amazing long-term results. As a society we have tended to seek instant gratification, but in this circumstance holding our nerve and seeing beyond the 'untidy' areas of long grass will hopefully ensure our future generations will look back at our work and be grateful we made the changes needed.

Photo: The Gallops, Worthing

2021-10-06 - The Gallops, Worthing

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22nd September 2021: Friends of Denton Gardens

Anthony Read, Park Ranger

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

This week I would like to talk about the newest 'friends of' group coming to one of Worthing Borough Council's many green spaces.

The group in question is the Friends of Denton Gardens, who I'm very pleased to say held a public meeting over the weekend to vote in their constitution and organise a managing committee. The meeting was well attended by approx 30 people, all of whom have a keen interest in the space and want to help keep it as peaceful, well-maintained and welcoming to everyone as possible.

On the 11th May 1922, Edward Knoblock Esq, the owner of Beach House, sold the land to Alderman Denton. A month later on the 20th June 1922, Mr Denton gave the land to the town. Two years later, Denton Gardens opened to the public and included two 18 hole golf putting courses, a sunken garden with attractive planting, a pergola and flower beds lining the extremities of the gardens. All in all a pleasant, sheltered, open environment for the public to relax and enjoy a little quiet time away from the busy and sometimes windswept promenade.

The gardens haven't really changed much over the years in regard to layout and the amount of open space, and there is still a pergola to the south of the sunken gardens which the Friends of Denton Gardens are keen to refurbish with the help of the Park Rangers.

Photo: Plants and the sunken garden in Denton Gardens (credit, copyright John-Paul Rowe, Friends of Denton Gardens)

2021-09-22 - Plants in Denton Gardens (credit, copyright John-Paul Rowe, Friends of Denton Gardens)

Excited to get started, the group has many ideas to help maintain and enhance the gardens - and over the next few months we will be developing a management plan with them to help achieve some of these goals.

If you would like to know more about the group you can visit their website:

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of groups like these, as they bring an invaluable source of knowledge and understanding to our treasured green spaces. The work that has already been done in some of our other parks and gardens is a great example of this and something which has been a privilege to be a part of.

There are so many success stories, with the Friends of Marine Gardens, Homefield Park, Heene Cemetery and Brooklands Park to name a few, and if you would like to get involved in your local green space then please send us an email and we'll do our best to assist you!

On a final note, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who do such amazing work on the green spaces we have across Adur and Worthing.

We're excited to start working with the Friends of Denton Gardens and would like to thank them for coming together with a common aim of keeping the historic grounds as a beautiful, quiet place for generations to come.

Photo: Flowers in Denton Gardens (credit, copyright John-Paul Rowe, Friends of Denton Gardens)

2021-09-22 - Flowers in Denton Gardens (credit, copyright John-Paul Rowe, Friends of Denton Gardens)

Photo: Seafront seating shelter in Denton Gardens (credit, copyright John-Paul Rowe, Friends of Denton Gardens)

2021-09-22 - Seafront seating shelter in Denton Gardens (credit, copyright John-Paul Rowe, Friends of Denton Gardens)

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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.

Anthony Read:

Anthony Read, Park Ranger

Anthony is the Head Ranger for Adur & Worthing Councils.

 

Craig Ifield:

Craig Ifield, Park Ranger

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 Conservation Volunteers charity as a project officer working to enable communities in Adur and Worthing to improve their health and wellbeing.

Adam Scott:

Adam Scott, Park Ranger

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 Brooker, Park Ranger

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:

Emily Ford, Park Ranger

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:

Keith Walder, Park Ranger

Keith says:

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

 

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

Park Rangers - by a boat planter in Brooklands Park

Park Rangers - by Brooklands Lake

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Page last updated: 01 December 2021

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