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Transforming Papa’s into a space for wildlife

Starting last year, Papa’s volunteers have been transforming the park into a space for wildlife. With funding from Groundwork London's Our Space Award, we’ve been working to make the park into a haven for insect life. Father Nature are collaborators on the project.

No weed killers or pesticides

A kid’s park and sports pitch might not at first seem like an obvious haven for wildlife, but if you look closely, there’s a lot going on. We don’t use weed killers or pesticides: better for children and wildlife. We let the park grow a little wild: wildflowers like Alkanet, Feverfew and Ragwort grow abundantly and are loved by bees and other insect life.

New trees and old trees

We've recently planted two new trees – apple and cherry. As well as being pollinators, they will eventually provide children in the park with fruits. Young volunteers were joined on the planting day by local MP Florence Eshalomi to dig in the trees.

In the big storm March last year, one of our big tree branches came down in the storm. So, we made a log pile for stag beetles. Did you know, stag beetles are a national priority species and London is a hotspot?

Plants for pollinators

At our planting party with Father Nature, our amazing community of helpers transformed our park by planting a range of pollinators. In the central bed, you can find planted drought resistant flowers including Echinacea, Yarrow and Lamb’s Ear as well as grasses like Miscanthus (which birds love for their nests). Flowers are a really important food source for bees, moths and other insects.

In the bed next to the street, we planted Dogwood, Cenothus and Liriope. And in the herb bed, Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram and Curry Plant. As well as supporting insects like moths, bees and butterflies, these plants are kid-friendly: non-toxic, non-spiky and robust enough to handle being trampled on by little feet from time to time.

Bugs, bugs, bugs

Just this year we’ve spotted all kinds of insects. As well as common species such as ladybirds, shield bugs, the cucumber orb spider, we’ve seen rarer species such as the beautiful cinnabar moth (a priority species).

Homes for bats, birds and insects

This year, we have installed new bat and bird boxes and a spectacular insect hotel.

Nature trail

Pick up a map outside Papa's Café and follow the Papa's Park Nature Trail to see what animals and plants you can discover.

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