Warden’s Blog – April 2022

24th April 2022

The trees are coming into leaf now and the Spring flowers are following their proper succession. Our coralroot is now flowering and it’s close relative the cuckoo flower is opening as well, our violets are showing nicely although many of those on the edges of popular paths have been lost to the extra footfall in the last few years. The garlic mustard is also now showing, along with the orange-tip butterflies that feed and lay their eggs on them.


One thing that I can’t help noticing however, is how quickly our ponds are evaporating; we have not had any appreciable rain for some time and lots of bright sunshine plus drying North-easterly winds. None of our ponds are fed by streams and rely on direct rainfall to fill and they can suffer badly in the dry conditions that we seem to be increasingly facing these days.

Fir Tree Pond.

On the same subject, our woodlands are incredibly dry too; they are positively crispy underfoot at the moment. This is peak fire risk season on habitats like ours, with last year’s dead bracken and leaves creating a serious danger, so please be careful. Thankfully, the situation will ease as new green growth appears and dampens things down a bit.

Incredibly dry ground.

We have had a bit of a difficult start to our grass cutting this year, with mechanical problems needing replacement parts; everything seems to take so long to accomplish these days. Happy to say we should be underway next week and it should not take too long to get everything looking cared for again.

Although we are now well into bird nesting season, we are still having to carry out tree work thanks to the after effects of Storm Eunice. There still seem to be quite a number of damaged trees that show up in any strong winds, even more so as the leaves fully emerge and give the trees much greater wind resistance. We are also carrying out infrastructure maintenance, replacing anti-parking posts and damaged litter bins as well as cutting back path edges. We have had great help with path edging from Community Payback while The Noise, a group of youngsters from local churches, have done a great job renovating several flights of steps and footpaths on Tunbridge Wells Common.

Help from The Noise.

Steve Budden