Stratford Park, Stroud
Within the portfolio of The Landscape Group’s contracts, Stratford Park in Stroud is one of our smallest, but in many ways, one of our most prestigious sites. Within Stratford Park's 55 acres lies a wealth of natural and man-made habitats including an ornamental lake, arboretum, mixed woodland and other open spaces which are home to hundreds of insect, bird and mammal species.
Stratford Park’s supervisor (Mike McCrea) is an entomologist and ornithologist in addition to his role as grounds maintenance supervisor for The Landscape Group. Prior to taking on this role with the company, Mike spent many years studying the park’s wildlife and developing an intimate knowledge of the environment. Since joining The Landscape Group in November 2008, Mike has led the team to embark on a series of initiatives with client Stroud District Council to develop biodiversity at Stratford Park. This has included changing maintenance regimes to enhance and create new habitats for wildlife, the success of which has led to reinvestment and further development year-on-year.
A successful nest box scheme was introduced in 2009 to increase nesting sites for hole-nesting birds such as Nuthatch, which had declined rapidly in recent years. Boxes were also erected for birds of prey, and during 2011 Little Owls bred for the first time in many years, with a second brood appearing in Summer 2013.
In 2009 Mike produced the first Stratford Park bird report which was funded by Stroud District Council. A butterfly and moth report followed in 2010. A monthly biodiversity newsletter produced by Mike, is circulated to those associated with the park and members of the public to inform them about the wildlife, events and developments. Mike and his team also built a new wildlife and dipping pond, with assistance from a team of local volunteer wildlife enthusiasts.
Developing the park and its biodiversity has created a very special relationship between The Landscape Group, Stroud District Council and the many other organisations involved in the park. Mike and The Landscape Group staff integrate well with other organisations in the park, particularly the Museum in the Park which is situated in the beautiful grounds.Through the Museum, Mike runs special events for the public including guided bird walks and moth events in the summer which have proved very popular with local children and adults alike.
Students from the adjacent Stroud College have also been assisting with conservation work and participating in horticultural activities with Mike and his team in the park.
The annual Stroud Festival of Nature is held in Stratford Park each Autumn and for two subsequent years, The Landscape Group has been actively involved in the Festival. The event provides an excellent opportunity to share the latest biodiversity news with local residents and visitors, whilst answering questions about wildlife and biodiversity in the park.
The rewards of this work produced a prestigious BALI award in 2010, Green Flag status for 10 consecutive years, Britain in Bloom silver gilt 2011, In Bloom Gold in 2013 and 2012 and 2 Stroud In Bloom Awards in 2012 for the second year running.
As a result of the conservation work carried out by The Landscape Group Stroud District Council has commissioned a 10 year biodiversity and landscape action plan for Stratford Park which will see The Landscape Group playing a major role in future years. This partnership was further cemented by the re-award of the grounds maintenance contract following a tender process in Summer 2013, securing The Landscape Group team's role in the park for a further five years, with potential for a two year extension.
Stratford Park is a shining example of how working in harmony with the client to adopt sound environmental practices is not only beneficial to iodiversity but also in sustaining good business relationships, making it a contract that will inspire others.
Please view Mike's monthly Biodiversity newsletters here:
Please also see the detailed bird survey carried out by our Contract Supervisor in 2009 at Stratford Park.
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