Victoria Park - Darlaston

Victoria Park - DarlastonVictoria Park - Darlaston

An insight into the NIA project to create an urban meadow and encourage wildlife to the ponds in a Darlaston park.

Victoria Park is an area of Darlaston that is popularly used as a path by school children, dog walkers and shoppers in the town. It is a disused railway line and has been landscaped to include two ponds, grassy areas and some areas of shrub. It is lined along the majority of its length by trees.

The project was designed to complement the regeneration taking place in Walsall town centre and included the introduction of a meadow and improvements to the ponds which had limited species diversity.

In the summer of 2013 the ground was prepared for meadow creation before Green hay from Hayton Meadow in Shropshire was strewn. This contained perennial species such as Cowslips, Common Spotted Orchid, meadow grasses. The green hay was supplemented with a cornfield seed mix to ensure a good coverage for the first year of the meadow in 2014.

People can now experience a meadow habitat in the middle of an urban area and wildlife benefits from a species rich nectar source within an urban area which is connected to other parks and gardens in the local area.

The final phase of the project was to add species to the ponds. Under normal conditions plants would not be introduced and species would be left to find their own way, however there were only a few plant species present and therefore it was decided to introduce additional species to encourage colonisation by butterflies and other invertebrates.