Ninesprings replanting scheme to add a splash of colour in the Valley Gardens

The first stage of a replanting scheme by the Rangers and Wednesday volunteers at Yeovil Country Park started this week.

Over the last six months, the Rangers and volunteers have been busy clearing the invasive laurel in the Valley Gardens area of Ninesprings which will make way for a new mix of trees that will add a splash of colour to the area.

Although the banks will initially appear rather bare, the bare ground will not stay bare for long as the wildflower seeds and bulbs that have lain dormant in the ground under the laurel are already springing into life.

The laurel had once been planted as part of the former Victorian pleasure gardens and would have been managed by gardeners to prevent it from growing too large. Without the intensive management by a team of gardeners, the laurel had taken over the banks; blocking out light to other plants and suppressing their growth with a toxin it releases into the ground from its roots.

The banks have been re-planted with a selection of native and ornamental trees and shrubs with careful thought to the structure and height of their growth to ensure that the re-established vistas are not lost once again.

Becky Russell, Community Ranger at Yeovil Country Park said, "As part of the Heritage Lottery Project, we have had the exciting task of working with our volunteers to uncover and restore the heritage in the Ninesprings Valley Gardens. The amazing clearance has enabled us all to see the beautiful Victorian structures and it has been a fantastic project to plant some new trees on the banksides to enhance the area still further in the coming years. The project is all funded by the Heritage Lottery fund as part of our V3 InVolve, Visit, Volunteer Project at Yeovil Country Park."

Countryside Ranger Kristy Davies added, "Without the help of our Wednesday Volunteers we would not have been able to achieve anywhere near as much of the invasive laurel control as we have done in the Valley Gardens during this winter's cutting season; they truly are a dedicated bunch and we are very fortunate to have their help. Re-planting the banks with a variety of tree and shrub species was a great way to celebrate what they have achieved. We now look forward to seeing the ferns uncurl, the flowers flourish, the trees to bud and blossom and for the wildlife to move in."

Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture at South Somerset District Council said, "The volunteers and Rangers must be commended for the hard work they have put in at the Valley Gardens. Once the trees and shrubs have matured and grown, this area will look magnificent and be filled with lots of colour whilst giving visitors the perfect views across part of Ninesprings."

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Date published: Friday 17 March 2017