I

With Ali­son Green­halgh of Ground­work South

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

T’S been an ex­cit­ing week at Iver with the BBC com­ing along with gar­den de­signer Joe Swift to film the new bog gar­den be­ing planted up.

have to con­fess bog plants are a bit of a mys­tery to me. I re­mem­ber my mum cre­at­ing a bog gar­den which was beau­ti­ful – full of iris sibir­ica, hostas and var­i­ous un­usual prim­u­las with a stream run­ning through the mid­dle; (the engi­neer­ing chal­lenge ex­cited my dad just as much!)

The Iver bog gar­den, though, is a dif­fer­ent con­cept. It’s been planted up with na­tive species which are in­tended to pro­vide habi­tat for our am­phib­ians, rep­tiles and in­ver­te­brates.

In par­tic­u­lar, it is of im­por­tance to our great crested newts who will use the bog for egg-lay­ing, wrap­ping their eggs in­side a rolled leaf. The bog also has an im­por­tant func­tion as­sist­ing in the fil­tra­tion of ex­cess nu­tri­ents from the pond cre­at­ing a nu­tri­ent rich bog in which in­ver­te­brates can breed pro­vid­ing a food source for many other species.

It’s all very new and the plants are tiny but it will be great to see it es­tab­lish over time.

The bog and many other projects at Iver would not have been pos­si­ble with­out our vol­un­teers, be they cor­po­rate groups or in­di­vid­u­als who of­fer their time and ex­per­tise to make things hap­pen.

My lovely vol­un­teer who does know a lot about bog plants took me shop­ping to se­lect the cor­rect plants. I my­self be­gan life at Ground­work as a vol­un­teer as did many of my col­leagues. It’s a great way to both use and ex­pand your knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence if you have any time to spare.

It doesn’t have to be an oner­ous com­mit­ment. At the mo­ment we are look­ing for con­ser­va­tion vol­un­teers to work at three dif­fer­ent sites which is just one day a month.

At Iver, we al­ways wel­come vol­un­teers with hor­ti­cul­tural, land­scap­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal skills but there are also op­por­tu­ni­ties out in the com­mu­nity where we im­prove green spa­ces and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties. Some times it’s sim­ply labour and there’s no pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence needed!

If vol­un­teer­ing ap­peals to you, then please do get in touch.

You never know, we may have you in wellies down by the bog...

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