Almshouses High Wycombe
In 2019 we started work creating an urban wildlife garden at the Almshouses in High Wycombe. This year, from March 2022, we have met fortnightly with a small group of volunteers on a Wednesday evening and are continuing to make the gardens more biodiverse, nature friendly and a relaxing and happy place for the residents to enjoy.
The past three years have seen much improvement. We have created mini meadows by raking out the thatch and planting pollinator friendly plants. We have also planted native shrubs and two dwarf cherry trees.
We have put up bat boxes and a huge variety of bird boxes including swift boxes, house sparrow terrace and blue tit boxes, house martin cups and open fronted boxes for wrens or robins.
It is now a lot easier to spot pyramidal and common spotted orchids, common blue butterflies, bats and a wide variety of birds.
Below are photos from when we started work at the Almshouses in 2019. The verge was mown on a regular basis and there was no opportunity for anything to grow on this piece of land.
We have worked with many groups and individuals to bring this project together including Dan Wilson of Decreate whose work has helped bring the area to life with his wonderful illustrations of swifts.
We could not have achieved this transformation without our amazing team of volunteers (too many to mention but you know who you are!) and Paul Turner, manager of the Almshouses. Thank you to all who have been involved so far – and there is plenty more to follow so let us know if you would like to be involved!
We would also like to say a big thank you to our funders and partners – Buckinghamshire Council, High Wycombe Community Board, Heart of Bucks, Buckinghamshire Natural Environment Partnership (Bucks Buzzing) and Bucks University Technical College.
We are so happy that as a result of our work at the Almshouses, there is now a real abundance of flora and fauna. Pyramidal and common spotted orchids are thriving. In our first year we had 4 pyramidal orchids and we now have 13 pyramidal and 2 common spotted orchids. The Yellow Rattle is also peeking it’s head up through the grass.
There have also been sightings of the Common Blue, Peacock and Marbled White butterflies which is excellent progress for an urban site in 3 years of work. And we have a resident slow worm!