Flora and fauna
The consultants assessed the flora and fauna of the Park. It comprises
- an area of cultivated amenity grassland fringed by mature trees, including a mixture of native and planted species (e.g. silver birch and black poplar).
- The main east to west footpath is lined by smaller, well-spaced trees
- several small areas of woodland have been planted on the site, predominantly close to the southern boundary.
- These stands contain a mixture of native species, including oak hawthorn, ash, field maple and Scots pine.
- Where grass is not regularly cut, common wild flowers such as common knapweed, cat’s ear and creeping buttercup have colonised the area
- A variety of common bird species have been observed on the site, including wren, goldfinch, greenfinch, blackbird, carrion crow and woodpigeon.
Few of the fish species in other parts of the Wandle catchment including eel, bullhead, brown trout, dace and barbel’ are unlikely to be present in Norbury Brook, due to the heavily modified nature of the water body.’
In the report the Park is described as comprising:
- open amenity grassland on which informal recreational activities take place
- a single basketball court at the western edge of the park
- a sports pavilion on the northern side
- a small children’s playground in the north eastern edge of the site
‘The park appears to be widely used for dog walking and other informal recreational activities.’
‘Norbury Park is a designated Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI). This means that it is locally important for nature conservation purposes, and is identified for planning purposes in the local development plan. The site does not currently meet the criteria for designation as a Site of Metropolitan or Borough Importance (SMI or SBI, respectively), but is locally important to people living in the vicinity. The site retains the potential to be designated as an SMI or SBI, if conditions at the site improve sufficiently to warrant re-designation. It is not stated why the site does not reach SBI level, although it is likely that, by creating new habitats, this project could help towards reaching the required status.’ (p.13)
Soils, geology and hydrogeology
The soils in Norbury Park and surrounding areas fall into two broad types:
- “loamy soils with naturally high groundwater”. These generally wet soils have a low natural fertility
- “slowly permeable seasonally wet slightly acid but base-rich loamy and clayey soils”. These loamy soils have impeded drainage, and have a moderate natural fertility.
‘The area is underlain by the London Clay formation, which is predominantly composed of fine grained silty clay deposits. The relatively impermeable bedrock is overlain by a layer of more permeable river terrace deposits. Many of the watercourses in the area are spring-fed, indicating groundwater levels are at or very close to the ground surface in some locations.’ ((p.14)
To be continued