All posts by Sue Britton

Volunteer Weekend Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 September 2021 10.00-16.00

FoWP volunteers are looking for help, even just for an hour, to assist in their on-going work to develop Westminster Park for the benefit of humans and wildlife in agreement with the CW&C parks officers.

Plans for the Volunteer Weekend include:

  • Digging a wildlife pond
  • Sowing wildflower areas (after removing turf)
  • Clearing brambles and creating habitat piles
  • Gardening on the formal beds, planting, weeding, pruning
  • Bulb planting and much more.

It’s a great range of activities for families and for people of all abilities – there will also be a chance to hear about the projects in more detail and how they will benefit our local wildlife.

If anyone can bring their own tools or bits of kit that would also be brilliant:

  • barrows
  • saws
  • loppers
  • spades
  • trowels

Whatever you bring, please also ensure that you have suitable footwear and sturdy gloves.

Volunteer Session Photos & Update

Progress is amazing but keeping it neat and tidy is on-going!  Thank you to all our loyal volunteers who are in the park every Wednesday from 10.00-12.30.  Please join us for as much (or little) time as you can spare.

We need to strim the grass around the benches where the mowers don’t reach.  If anyone has a petrol/ battery operated strimmer, please do come along and help.

Weekly Volunteer Session Every Wednesday 10.00-13.00

We have resumed our weekly volunteering activities in the park on Wednesdays.  We can work in groups and remain socially distanced.

Please meet near the cafe from 10.00 where we will be working on the formal beds.

There is an agreed WP park plan in place and a formal bed layout.  Our immediate tasks are cutting back/ removing some trees in the woodland, planting shrubs and reinstating the burnt sections of the leylandii hedge.

Bring gardening tools if you want to do shrub planting, and a saw + loppers and secateurs if you want to do tree/undergrowth clearing.

Look forward to seeing you.


Westminster Park Volunteers Planting & Maintenance Plan 2021

Prepared by Niall Macfadyen and Mary Pole                                 

Approved by:

  • Steve Telford (Chair, Friends of Westminster Park),
  • Sue Britton (Secretary, Friends of Westminster Park)
  • Andy James, Cheshire West and Chester Greenspace Ranger


The plan covers the next twelve months of planting and maintenance.   Maintenance activities can be carried out throughout the year, but there are preferred times for planting, pruning, weeding etc.

It is planned to plant additional flowering shrubs and herbaceous perennials in the “formal borders” area outside the café, marked A on the map in fig 1.  This work should be carried out in November and December 2020.  In order to do this a number of unwanted self seeded, dead and dying plants need to be removed.  Others can be rescued by suitable pruning.

It is planned to plant wildflower bulbs in the woodland area, marked B on fig 1.  Two areas will be planted up during November and December.  There will be maintenance work on the woodland throughout the winter, involving coppicing suitable trees (e.g. Hazel) and thinning out trees that are now reaching maturity, so that trees chosen to remain have room to grow.

There is general maintenance (pruning, removing ivy) of existing shrubs in areas C , D and E on Fig 1.   Some Lleylandii plants are also required in areas C and D to replace burned out plants.

It is planned to purchase wildflower seeds to grow on and plant out in the spring/summer of 2021.  These plants will initially be planted out on the grassy mounds in area F of  Fig 1.

In order to minimise future maintenance, the budget includes purchase of weed suppressing membrane and bark chippings, which both suppress weeds and look nice.

Budget summary

bark 2 cubic metres 200
membrane 50m x 2m 50
plants 250
seeds 50
bulbs 525
Lleylandii 40
total 1115

We are assuming we will be able to get some discounts on these costs.  Our budget is assumed to be £1000.

Area A – Formal Beds

Generally there are numerous  flowering shrubs, but with limited flowering periods.  The proposed additional plants have a focus on winter flowering species and are suitable for the varying  aspects of the beds from full sun to almost full shade.

Areas B and F – Wildflower Area and Woodland Area

There is a current council proposal for encouraging grasslands and wildflower meadows, so our proposal only includes a “demonstrator/trial area”.  Similarly, final decisions on the eventual plants list for these areas are dependent on the outcome of the proposals before the council.

Wildflower seeds will be planted and grow on in the spring, hopefully in collaboration with local primary schools and gardening clubs.  These will be planted out on the grassy mounds at F in the early summer.

Native woodland plant bulbs have been planted out in two separate areas of the woodland during the late autumn/winter.  These will flower in spring, before the leaf canopy develops.