VICTORIA PARK WILDLIFE – March 2023
Victoria Park, on the eastern side of BS3, is a large park of over 50 acres, created in the 1880s. There are a lot of activities available in the park, which is mostly used by the communities of Windmill Hill and Totterdown, but it has a wealth of natural wildlife too. As well as long grass and wooded areas, there are many avenues of trees, some very old and unique to the park and some planted within the last 15 years by local people in association with the Victoria Park Action Group (VPAG) and Bristol City Council.
The long grass and more overgrown areas have a wide range of wildflowers and hedgehogs have been seen, whilst the wooded areas are home to a variety of birds, including owls, jays, finches and woodpeckers. At least 8 species of bat have been recorded in the park, some of them quite rare, and grey squirrels and foxes are seen regularly. During the 2015 Bioblitz (a 2-day event in which 900 people surveyed all the wildlife in the park), over 200 different plant species were found, as well as 21 bird species, 47 lichen species and 37 species of butterflies and moths.
The Victoria Park Wildlife Group is largely dormant at present, awaiting someone who is keen to rekindle it. A series of successful past events included a Bioblitz, an Owl Day, wildflower planting, bat walks and the creation of a willow tunnel, but currently most of the practical effort goes into the Community Garden (south of the Bowling Club) which attracts lots of pollinators. Currently, a VPAG member posts wildlife sightings and other relevant information on the park’s Facebook page https://en-gb.facebook.com/VictoriaParkBristol/
Children from the local primary schools (Victoria Park and St Mary Redcliffe) have regularly used the park for Forest School and other wildlife activities.