Jubilee Park is now one of the most popular parks in the village and has become a space where all sections of the community visit. The BMX track and trim trail are very popular, and otherwise the park always has a walker or runner present. The picnic benches are also very popular.
The landscaping of the park has been a partnership between WFEG and the Parish Council to develop a space that is wildlife friendly and aesthetically beautiful. Most public parks have cut grass and nowhere for nature to thrive and WFEG have been working since the park opened to improve biodiversity whilst maintaining a beautiful and peaceful space.
The perimeter is stocked with hundreds of wildlife friendly trees which are all starting to establish nicely. The trees will provide pollen via blossom in spring, leaf cover in the summer and fruit and berries in the autumn for local wildlife. The perimeter is left uncut, and the thicket and grasses provide habitat for wildlife in a busy park. There are many birds and insects which live in this space.
The Community Orchard is now fully stocked and has 100 young fruit trees. We have tried to source local and heritage varieties as much as possible. There are 69 Apples; 9 Pears; 7 Plums, 4 Damsons; 2 Medlars; 2 Mirabelle; 4 Gage; 1 Mulberry and 1 Quince trees. Tree names include Peasgood Nonesuch, Ribston Pippin, Court Pendu Plat, Betsey Baker, Tettenhall Dick and Ashmeads Kernell.
We also have two Whittington and Fisherwick varieties which are the John Downey Crab Apple and the Whittington Hero (the Whittington Hero mother tree resides on the Whittington ranges).
The centre of the park has the Brownie garden. This was designed and planted by the Brownies and is now maintained by David and Rowena Sharpe. The planting design was to attract pollinators throughout the seasons and from March to October it is very popular with bees and butterflies.
The area surrounding the community orchard is a native wildflower meadow which was seeded in 2012. This is a lovely area of natural habitat and in the summer months it is full of bloom and has lots of bees, butterflies and insects which love the space. The common blue butterfly which is not so common now is a regular resident. This is cut in autumn and regrows year on year.
If you visit Jubilee Park, do try and keep to the paths as the wildflower area is being heavily trodden down due to the popularity of the park where guests are unaware that there is wildflower meadow under foot. The wild daffodils are now appearing in the meadow and the cowslips will be coming soon.
We have just received some grant funding from “ The Community Foundation for Staffordshire” to plant a line of early fruiting apple trees to the top border beyond the BMX track, so that young people and families using the track can eat fruit off the trees during August and September. We will be looking for community support to plant these trees next autumn. We’re trying to re-establish the connection between fruit and tree particularly for younger people, who will be able to freely "scrump" fruit from the tree.
Julian Floyd, WFEG