Photos taken on Wish Hills by Paul Gorringe, Park Ranger
Written and updated by Christian Brodrick
Wish Hills were created in the spring of 2013, funded by The National Lottery, Southern Land Services and Friends of Wish Park (FOWP). They were created to provide a habitat for wild flowers, which in turn would attract butterflies, bees and other insects.
The two hills, bisected by a gravel pathway, lead to two benches providing views across the park. A chalk area, created along the top of the hills, provides soil conditions similar to those on the South Downs.
The hills have been planted with local wild flowers and those observed growing include:
comfrey, borage, white and pink campion, cowslip, poppy, oxeye daisy, wild carrot, buttercup and birdsfoot trefoil.
Butterflies seen on the hills have included skippers, painted lady and white letter hairstreak (this being on the endangered list as it lives in elm trees).
The hills are maintained by the volunteers from the Community Veg Garden with the help of the park gardener & ranger. The grass is strimmed in spring and autumn and then removed, helping to reduce the richness of the soil, creating conditions which wild flowers favour.
A rope ‘fence’ was installed round the base of the hills to indicate their need for protection. This was removed in 2016 as it was rotting and is due to be replaced shortly.
Thistles, nettles and dock need to be frequently culled as they can dominate the other wild flowers. Spring bulbs have been planted around the base of the hills, and more wildflower seeds, including yellow rattle which helps to reduce the vigour of adjacent grass, have been sown each year.
When the elephant sculpture was built in the children’s playground, the excess soil was used to extend one of the hills, and this too was planted with yellow rattle.
Last Updated By Christian Brodrick On 26/04/17