Habitats around the park
The park is noted for its lakes, reedbeds, grassland, and woodland. These differing habitats support a wide range of wildlife.
There are over 156 species of bird including breeding tawny owls, and fieldfares in the winter. An island was created as a special habitat for nesting common terns. Reed beds around lakes are home to birds such as willow, reed and sedge warblers, reed bunting, water rail, swans and bittern.
There are over 390 species of plants. Notable plants are bee orchid, birdsfoot trefoil, wild carrot and black poplar and the park is home to foxes, bats, bank voles and wood mice. The park also has many species of insect that play an important role in providing food for birds and pollinating plants.
Building and maintaining artifical habitats forms an important part of the work the BLCV group does. Take a look at some of the habitats we have created and read more about them below.
A bee bank is an area of bare ground where mining bees burrow and nest. It should be sheltered from the prevailing wind and the face of it should be in the right direction to receive plenty of sunlight to provide warmth.
The park's bee bank is within the private nature reserve, and is steeply angled which helps to minimise plant growth on it. Bees need to be helped as much as possible as they are great pollinators.
Tern Island was created to provide a more natural environment for nesting terns. Funding came from Natural England's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, a scheme supporting projects that reduce the impact of aggregate extraction.
Work began in November 2009 and was completed in February 2010. The existing raft was moved further out into the lake to reduce predator access, and a membrane added to impede vegetation growth. Shingle was layered on top, and small shelters added to protect eggs and chicks.
Stag beetle log piles
There are two stag beetle log piles in the park: one in the Education Area and one by the South Lake.
The South Lake stag beetle log pile was created by the volunteers in winter 2014 and is now an established habitat for beetles and insects. In summer it is surrounded by buddleia bushes which attract lots of butterflies.
The park has several ponds supporting frogs, newts, damselflies, dragonflies and other insects.
Some small ponds were dug in the private nature reserve during 2017 and will take some time to fully establish, while the Dipping Pond is fully established.
A hibernaculum is a place that creatures use for shelter. In the park, hibernacula have been built for reptiles including grass snakes to crawl into and keep warm and protected from predators.
1. A hole is dug to about one foot in depth.
2. Logs are placed inside as a base.
3. Branches are laid on top.
4. Wood chippings are then put on top to reduce the effects of frost.
5. Lastly, it is given a final covering of earth and a few holes added in the sides for entrances.
Private Nature Reserve
The private nature reserve is a quiet area of the park, containing mature woodland mostly made up of willow, hawthorn, elder and birch in which bat boxes have been installed.
The Tern and Reedbed Hides offer views over the lakes. Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers nest in dead trees whilst various warblers nest in the thick scrub. Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, and the noisy Ring-necked Parakeet can be heard all around.
The reedbeds surrounding the lakes support a variety of birds throughout the year, including breeding Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings, Grey Wagtail, nesting swans, Grey Heron, Common Snipe, Water Rail and rare Bittern.