#LoveParks Week

Friday 29th July 2022

…blog by Emma Morgan, Buglife Conservation Officer (Cymru)

What do we love about Cardiff parks? And how do we show our love to them?

With the recent hot weather many of us will be out enjoying nature on our doorstops, which often looks like a trip to the local park, with picnic blankets, food, drink and playing games. Whilst we appreciate the joys of nature, let’s not forget our local bugs who don’t just spend sunny days in the park but their entire lives when we share these spaces.

If you see wasps buzzing around your picnic don’t beat them away and anger them.

Remember that wasps play an important role eating flies, aphids, caterpillars and other invertebrates, making them an important insect-controlling predator, and in some cases even pollinating certain flower species!

Ants feeding on discarded Apple Core © BareFoot Photographer
Ants feeding on discarded Apple Core © BareFoot Photographer

An ant crawling on your blanket is going about her daily foraging, leave them to enjoy the crumbs left by children but do keep your food properly covered and stored to avoid conflict!

You may find events near you that bring invertebrates into your fun at the park, or you can carry out self-led activities. Why not take part in Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count?  You can take part from your favourite park throughout Love Parks Week by going to the Butterfly Count link and using the app https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/

Alternatively, you might like to get involved with an organised event; spending time in nature, enjoying your local wild spaces, improving your physical and emotional well-being.  Llanishen Park parkrun takes place every Saturday at 09:00am; a free, fun and friendly 5k community event where you can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate.  So, for Love Parks week why not join in on Saturday 30th July 2022.

Although we enjoy a freshly mown lawn for relaxing and playing sports on a summer day, don’t be put off by areas of overgrown grasses or bushes. Although not ‘tidy’ these areas are great habitats for wildlife. In some parks, such as Bute Park, you may see boxes tied in the trees which are not rubbish but box habitats laid out especially for bug friends as part of the Urban Buzz projects. There are also signs around the park for a pollinator trail. You can enjoy the playing field and the trails but leave the unkempt wild areas untouched for wildlife to thrive.

To take further actions you could sign up to the Cardiff Pollinator Pledge which outlines how you can help pollinators and can connect you with other like-minded pollinator advocates across the city.

Love Parks Week is set up to celebrate and support the efforts of volunteers and workers up and down the country to maintain and protect our green spaces.  What are you doing for Love Parks Week 2022?

Stuck for ideas?  Why not check out our Gardening for Bugs webpage which contains lots of ideas and suggestions regarding how you can make your own wild space more wildlife friendly