Posted by: henrymcghie | July 17, 2012

July Whitworth wildlife- and a sunny day!

Hello, a group of curators from Manchester Museum, the museum Youth Board and Curator of Community Engagement Andrea Winn, and the Friends of Whitworth Park spent some time in Whitworth Park last Saturday. We wanted to talk with the public about the wildlife of the park and how to identify it, and to check out the species we could find. We gave out ‘spotter’ sheets of species that had been seen in the past. Among the most interesting things (well I think so) were lots of Tree Bumblebees, feeding on Scabious and other flowers in the central flower bed. This species, which comes from mainland Europe, was only seen for the first time in Britain in 2001. Since then it has been spreading north. Many species of Bumblebees are declining, but this species is doing very well in habitats created by people, such as parks and gardens. Maybe it is less choosy than other species.

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Responses

  1. The centre circle was designed and planted by the Friends of Whitworth Park in 2009 and a small group of us try and maintain it by working there, usually on Wednesday mornings. The scabious was not one of the plants included in the design but came in on the root ball of ones that were, particularly the echinacea. I had noticed the bees but did not appreciate that they were tree bumblebees. The scabious (and the sanguisorba) are very invasive and we are having to reduce numbers of seedlings and runners. A group of three of us enjoyed the BioBlitz on Saturday, learning and remembering species with Dave Bishop, mainly in the northern quadrant the grass of some of which has not been mown this year allowing plants to grow which have previously been suppressed. We are hoping to continue our biodiversity programme through further hedge planting and maybe seed sowing this coming autumn winter and will certainly welcome the Youth Board and anyone else who wants to join in.


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