Category Archives: Nature garden

Nature blog: common frog

Did you know that we have common frogs living on Palace Road Estate? We might expect them to be living in ponds. That’s where they breed during spring. However, they spend much of the rest of the year living and feeding in places like gardens, meadows and woodland.

A common frog (Rana temporaria) photographed in a garden on Coburg Crescent

Common frogs are carnivores, meaning that they feed on other animals. They eat things like flies, worms, snails and slugs. These types of animals are known as invertebrates (animals without a backbone) or mini-beasts. There are plenty of mini-beasts living in the gardens and grounds of Palace Road Estate.

This common frog has been spending time in an Ophiopogon plant in a garden in Coburg Crescent. It’s well hidden there from predators like cats.

Where do you think it will go to breed? One of the ponds in Palace Road Nature Garden, perhaps?

You can read more about common frogs on the Froglife and the Wildlife Trusts websites.

Nature garden update

The Palace Road Nature Garden is looking magnificent after all the hard work put in recently by the Friends of Hillside Gardens Park (and Palace Road Nature Garden) and The Conservation Volunteers. If you haven’t been there recently, you’re in for a treat!

The new pond is looking great, with a variety of wetland plants and flowers and dragonflies zipping about.
A log cabin has been going up over the past week, next to the mural and performance area.

New bollard on Palace Road

At the end of January a new bollard appeared on Palace Road, just outside the Palace Road Nature Garden. It is beside the gate that blocks the road to motor traffic, but obstructs wide cycles (such as tricycles), mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

What is it for? We asked the council and they replied that someone had been driving a Smart car through this gap, leading to complaints by “a number of” residents – hence the new bollard. As for non-motorised road users who can’t get through the gap any more, they are advised by the council to “use the footpath running parallel”. This may well be illegal, of course.

Nature garden update

You may have noticed that works are underway in Palace Road Nature Garden. This work is being carried out by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and is funded by grants from the Western Riverside Environmental Fund and Lambeth Council. Thames Water and their contractor Barhale have also contributed by providing access to their toilets and canteen facilities.

The main pond
The main pond

TCV are generally on site from 10am to 4pm and Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays. They are happy to show people around and explain what they are doing. The work includes:

  • Clearing rubble from the house that once stood on the site.
  • Planting fruit trees and soft-fruit bushes.
  • Sowing a wildflower meadow.
  • Planting new trees, including birch and elm.
  • Restoring the second pond.
  • Landscaping the area in front of the mural to create a performance space.
  • Installation of a noticeboard, tool storage unit, wooden cabin and toilets.

The full project specification can be found here.

The mural
The mural

If you would like help with any of the work, email palacerdnaturegdn@hotmail.co.uk or phone 07947976505.

The project is due to be completed in May and there will be a launch event in June.

Palace Road Nature Garden needs your help

Do you love to tranquil beauty of the Palace Road Nature Garden? Do you sometimes have difficulty sleeping at night?

You may not have heard that from the beginning of this month the council will no longer be locking the nature garden at night, due to budget cuts. This will, of course, increase the possibility that undesirable activities will take place, so volunteers are being sought to walk through the nature garden at night. Their presence will act as a friendly deterrent against antisocial behaviour.

Contact palacerdnaturegdn@hotmail.co.uk or 07947 976 505 for more details, or to volunteer.