Aspley Guise Brown’s Way Phases 1 & 2
Written by: Aspley Guise Parish Council
This project looked at habitat enhancement at Brown’s Way, Aspley Guise in two phases. The project aimed to create a wildflower meadow, thin out the existing tree coverage, install bat and bird boxes, and interpret the works. To involve the local community, the Parish Council also planned an event at the site to ensure the residents were engaged with the work being carried out. Finally, both projects were supported by the creation of a conservation management plan that will allow the site to remain in positive management in the years ahead.
The project’s main achievement was the creation of a wildflower meadow at Brown’s Way. This work has introduced a wide variety of wild flowers typical to the lowland meadow found at the site. We are particularly proud that the works encompassed more than the wildflower creation, reinforcing how the GCLP allowed us to develop a more strategic habitat enhancement. Works also included tree thinning and bringing hedgerows into positive management.
The ‘Pond life’ interpretation board is another success of the project, and has helped to make the local biodiversity more well known.
Benefits to People
This project gave local residents the opportunity to discover more about the habitats and the work that was carried out under both GCLP projects. Putting up the interpretation board and the bat/bird boxes attracted people that had not previously been engaged with either the Parish Council or Greensand Country, so it was a particular success of the project that we were able to share this habitat with new people.
The interpretation board appeals to both children and those with more knowledge of pond life, so is a good learning point for members of the community who are interested in wildlife. It has also introduced more habitat variety into the local area, so the site is now more interesting for those walking through.
Benefits to Heritage & Landscape
The habitats at Brown’s Way have seen substantial benefits as a result of this project. As a result of the creation of a conservation management plan, the site is now under positive management that will allow the habitats to develop in the coming years. The habitat is also in better condition, as the tree thinning works have prevented overcrowding and will in the long term improve the health of the trees on site.
As the project has added much habitat diversity to the site, this will improve its biodiversity. Equally, positively managed hedgerows will allow for greater connectivity across the wider area.
This project was primarily focused on habitat enhancement rather than heritage. However, by planting the wildflower meadow we have enhanced the broader setting of Brown’s Way, and it now reflects the mosaic of habitats you see across Greensand Country.
“It was brilliant to see such a transformation at Brown’s Way with the wildflower meadow and the tree/hedgerow works. The interpretation board looks really good as well and has made understanding the pond much easier”
Daniel Bowles, Programme Coordinator
Challenges & Lessons Learnt
If we were to run the projects again, we would like to combine both phases into one larger project. This would have enabled the contractors to be more efficient and to reduce the administrative load.