The Management Plan prepared by EMEC Ecology, divides the Park into habitat compartments. For each compartment a different management strategy has been developed. The compartments are all identified by an alphanumeric code and shown on the map above. Below, they are first described and then the way in which they are to be managed is outlined.
Woodland Compartments 1a and 1b.
These compartments are dominated by sycamore with occasional wych elm, ash, pedunculate oak and beech. The scrub layer is mostly hawthorn.
Compartment 1a has been planted with sycamore, beech and ash. Ground flora includes ivy, Yorkshire-fog and rough meadow grass.
Compartment 1b is mainly self-sown woodland dominated by sycamore with some wych elm and whitebeam. The ground flora is again mostly ivy with some red campion and wood avens.
Scrub (Compartments 2a, 2b and 2c)
Compartment 2a is almost entirely hawthorn and blackthorn with the occasional elder. Around and beneath the scrub bramble, false-oat grass, hogweed and the common nettle can be found. Where the scrub is less dense there are small clumps of sweet violet.
Compartment 2b is also dominated by hawthorn, but includes some planted trees and shrubs. These include hazel, buddleia, horse chestnut, snowberry, field maple, guelder rose and cherry cultivars together with some non-indigenous species.
Compartment 2c has a more even mix of hawthorn and blackthorn with some bramble. The scrub in this compartment is likely to be of importance for breeding birds.
Grassland (Compartments 3a, 3b and 3c)
Compartment 3a has dominant grasses such as upright brome and false oat grass. Yellow oat grass, black knapweed, meadow vetchling, ox-eye daisy, cowslip and the locally rare yellow-juiced poppy also occur.
Compartment 3b comprises the grasses that have colonised the ballast of the track bed. These include annual grasses such as silver hair-grass and squirrel-tail fescue and herbs such as mouse-ear hawkweed, yellow stonecrop and nipplewort. Some other plant species, more normally associated with arable field margins, are present including some that are scarce in Nottinghamshire. These include common cornsalad, lesser toadflax and Smith’s pepperwort. Smith’s pepperwort is found in only twelve sites within the County.
Compartment 3c has a similar floral composition to 3a but the sward includes a higher proportion of field bindweed, which is the larval host plant of the nationally rare four-spotted moth.
The site, then, has a high diversity of habitats and habitat structures, including transitions from short, species-rich grassland with abundant bare ground through to rank grassland, scrub and secondary woodland. This provides for a wide variety of plant species – in total 161 different plant species have been recorded. For a full list of species recorded click on:
List of plant and animal species recorded in the Linear Park
Visitors to the Park are likely to see a number of management activities going on in the various parts of the Park. These activities will mainly take place during the period September to February in order to avoid disturbing breeding birds and are related to the Management Objectives recommended to the Town Council by EMEC Ecology.
These include the recommendations:
To increase and enhance the species diversity of the woodland and scrub areas.
In Compartment 1a to adopt a non intervention policy
In Compartment 1b selectively to
remove sycamore. This will create an unevenly aged, three-dimensional
structure with some standards left.
All fallen and standing dead wood to be retained on the site.
Bird nest boxes are to be installed in the woodland areas including boxes suitable for tawny owls. In addition bat boxes to be installed on mature trees.
To increase the extent of open grassland by selective clearance of scrub.
In Compartment 2a to remove 50% of the hawthorn scrub from the embankments to create more grassland habitat for invertebrates.
In Compartment 2b to remove from the site all of the snowberry and non -indigenous planted trees and shrub species.
In compartment 2c to maintain the scrub at the present level for breeding birds, particularly on the north facing embankment.
To increase and enhance the diversity of the grassland areas, including the maintenance and/or creation of suitable habitat for rare invertebrates.
In Compartment 3a to mow sections of the grassland on a five-year rotation, in late August/September after flowering has finished.
In Compartment 3b to adopt a non-intervention policy.
In Compartment 3c to scrape 20m x 5m sections of embankment bare of vegetation every five years. This will benefit the four-spotted moth by increasing the population of its larval food plant.
The Friends of Bingham Linear Park – a voluntary group working under the Chairmanship of Bill Bacon, will carry out much of the above work. They will also carry out botanical and faunal monitoring recording the results of the management activities in the context of the development of grassland species, the presence of field bindweed and other larval host plants and in undertaking butterfly transects along the Park during the grizzled skipper and four-spotted moth flight season from April to July.