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Small & Mighty Projects

Some of our projects are a bit smaller but are great examples of how you don't need a lot of space to make a difference to the pollinators, wildlife and birds in your area.

This page is full of our activities out with the main areas that Riverside Naturally look after and with a range of partners that have supported, helped and inspired.

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Bee Bed

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Planted in 2021 our bee bed is one of our most exciting spaces and a great example of what you can do in small spaces to encourage pollinators to your gardens.

 

This year we have some beautiful plants growing in our Bee Bed this year and the bees and other pollinators are enjoying them.  Why not take a few minutes to sit on one of the benches and enjoy the scent of the plants and the gentle buzzing of the bees…

 

There is an old saying “More in the garden grows than the gardener sows”.

 

One of our welcome visitors is Meadow vetchling - Lathyrus pratensis. Stop next time you’re passing and see if you can spot the lovely yellow flowers scrambling through the lavender on the left of the bed. 

We have the familiar sweet pea scrambling over the left-hand side of the planter (this plant was raised by the propagation team at Braehead Community Garden) and over on the right are the delicate flowers of a self-seeded Common vetch – Vicia sativa. We’ll be saving the seeds and sowing them in the Woodland Wonderland and Story Gardens next year.

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Grass Cutting

In our green spaces we avoid cutting the grass, allowing the varied grassland species to thrive and diversify.  Where this is not possible we encourage people to go longer between mows as this 

There are many benefits to leaving the grass longer during the summer and we hope that a slight shift in perspective will help in understanding that long lawns are not messy and unkempt, but a haven for wild life and essential to combatting climate change.  You can find out about our grassland and our journey to get there here.

Long grass encourages wild flowers to grow.

The soil in Riverside is very fertile and this is a problem for many wildflower species who like less nutritious soil to thrive.  Allowing the grass to grow longer decreases the fertility of the soil and allow more species to thrive.  

In addition, keeping the grass long allows other more scarce flowers, such as orchids, to flourish.  A lovely purple orchid was spotted in our orchard this year.

Having a varied food source in your grassy areas encourages a range of pollinators to visit - including butterflies, bees and birds.

Long grass improves the habitat for many mini-beasts

Longer grass is a perfect shelter and breeding place for many invertebrates that thrive in the darker and damper areas of our gardens.  

Mini beasts such as spiders, the meadow brown butterflies, and moth caterpillars, use the longer parts of the grass to spin webs, lay eggs and roost in.

These creatures are all vital for a thriving ecosystem and provide and essential food source for many other creatures, including birds and hedgehogs.

Long grass and wildflowers are a great food source for birds, bees and butterflies

Having a variety of grasses and wildflowers give a food source to lots of creatures throughout the year, and the seeds at the end of the season are 

Long grass is a great home for amphibians

Amphibians need shelter on land and long grass provides and ideal place for them to hide and the min-beast are a perfect food source.

Particularly in dry spells, long grass stops the desiccation of the smaller amphibians,

Less grass cutting also:

saves money on grass cutting

saves our natural resources (fuel)

saves our time - which can be spent on other activities supporting the environment

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School Planters

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Riverside Naturally has had great pleasure working with Riverside Primary School to revitalise the four big planters situated in the school playground.

We started by clearing the planters of existing plants and weeds - this gave us a change to enrich the soil by adding more compost and bark.  The soil had become compacted over time- so it was very satisfying to clear and it made it a lot easier to plant up with the children.

Each box has a loose theme - sensory planter, food planter, bloom box (pollinator friendly) and friendship planter - which should soon have sunflowers blooming.

We had great fun with some of the P4's planting up the boxes - the children were fantastic and did a wonderful job.  You can see how they got on here.  

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Act of Restorative Kindness

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This area is an A.R.K – an Act of Restorative Kindness

An A.R.K is a haven where our native plants and wildlife can thrive.  It is a place that we leave undisturbed for natural processes to happen.  Space for wildlife is disappearing but, over time, this ARK will become a safe place for pollinators and other creatures to find food and shelter.

The area of river bank between the newly built Riverside Quay and the Old Harbour alongside Shore Road is already a haven for wildflowers and wildlife.  It is maintained by Stirling Council Fisheries Team for maximum biodiversity. In conjunction with Stirling Council we are ensuring that this small patch remains undisturbed as an A.R.K.

The purpose of an ARK is to allow nature to thrive without interference from people however to give it the best start possible we have planted seven oaks and a rowan with additional native plants scheduled for later this year.

We have installed a sign at the site and our ARK has now been registered on the We Are The Ark website. We are delighted to be part of an international web of sanctuaries.

Over the months and years we hope to see lots of interesting plants and beasties making this space home - why don't you take a Peek Over The Wall and let us know what you can spot?

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The A.R.K organisation encourages people to establish areas of land where nature is allowed to restore itself. 

1. To raise awareness of the extinction event we are experiencing.

2. To create safe and abundant havens for as many wild creatures as possible.

3. To give as much land as possible back into nature’s hands.

4. To create a web of interconnected living sanctuaries that will become the seeds to restore our planetary diversity and health.

5. To offer people something important to do to support life on earth.

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