Creating a woodland glade around the edge and a meadow on the slope provides the perfect habitat for wildlife. Species of trees has been considered for larvae food plants for butterflies, food for birds, height and structure within a mixed woodland, and diversity to be resilient in the face of climate change. It’s also been suggested we contact the Butterfly Conservation Trust and see if this could be a designated site in the future. The meadow within the footpath loop is maintained to increase biodiversity in the grass, with the hay being cut and removed every year in late July. For example goat willow was planted near the mature oak specifically as habitat for the purple emperor butterfly and alder buckthorn was planted as the food plant of the brimstone butterfly. Also included are a few food baring trees for humans, such as nuts and semi wild plum, which will also be enjoyed by the wildlife.
There is a ditch as flood defence for the railway line at the bottom of the slope, home to many rabbits. It’s been advised not to plant here and leave an area of bramble because it has a flood defence ditch belonging to the railway. This all encourages the biodiversity together along with the wildflowers in the meadow.
The planting was designed to incorporate and not disturb the existing spread of wildflowers – such as snowdrops, native daffodils, crocus and bluebells – that carpet the ground alongside the gardens of Linden House in the spring.