Melton Country Park
Over 650 species have been recorded from Melton Country Park by NatureSpot recorders making this one of the richest sites for species diversity in the county. Despite this fact, the Park is poorly explored. So visitors may see species not so far listed in our records.
The trees include 4 species of the willow family and there is a signed woodland walk labelling other native species. Over a 100 species of wildflower have been recorded, resulting in the Park being very good for many species of bee and hoverfly in the summer months.
The lake margins are dominated by Common Reed, Bulrush and Common Club-rush, whilst the aquatic life includes the Signal Crayfish, a freshwater Crustacean, Smooth Newt and Swan Mussel.
Between April and October all the common species of butterfly can be seen together with up to 19 species of Dragon and Damselfly including the delicate and beautiful Emerald Damselfly. Most of these species have distinct flight periods and so are usually seen at particular times during these warmer months.
During the year most of the common waterbirds can be seen including Mute Swan, Canada and Greylag Goose, Moorhen, Coot and up to seven species of duck (Mallard, Tufted Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall and Pochard). Grey Heron and Little Egret are usually seen as well as Cormorant, Great Crested, and Little Grebe. Several of the common species of gull are also usually present. Kingfishers visit the Park to fish from low perches around the Lake but these shy birds are most likely to be seen at quiet times such as very early in the morning.
In summer months several species of warbler breed in the Park. These include the noisy, but elusive, Cetti’s Warbler around the lake margin and Reed Warbler within the reedbeds. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap are found in the trees and hedgerows around the Park. Swallows, Swifts and House Martins are also common in the summer months swooping low over the water to drink or hawking for insects.
Buzzard, Kestrel, Red Kite and Raven are common sights over the Park throughout the year and in autumn and winter noisy flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare can be found in the hedgerows eating berries. These thrushes winter in Britain but migrate back to their breeding grounds in higher latitudes such as Scandinavia and Russia in the summer. Occasionally rarer birds turn up and spend a few days in the Park. A North American Ring-billed Gull visited in 2013 and Ospreys have been seen on migration.
Total species seen at this site: 652
Rare Rush from Melton Country Park, a first for Leicestershire and Rutland
A rare type of Club-rush has recently been recorded by NatureSpot enthusiasts in Melton Country Park. Originally found in autumn 2015, a sample of the plant was recently sent to national experts at Kew Gardens and has been identified as Bolboschoemus laticarpus. This species is common on the Continent but very rare in Great Britain and so this record is highly significant. The Rush can be seen best in the summer months with its prominent brown tufted flowers on their tall stalks. It occurs in patches along the margin of the main lake at the side of the dam, and also, in the smaller overflow pond beneath the dam.
Melton Country Park covers a 140-acre site with the Scalford Brook Flood Storage Reservoir at the centre. This reservoir was constructed in the early 1990’s to reduce the risk of flooding to properties in Melton from the Scalford Brook. It was designed by Severn Trent Water and built by Melton Borough Council. Since 1996 it has been operated and maintained by the Environment Agency. The dam is designed to cope with a 1 in a 100 year, flood.
The Country Park has been specially planted with trees and shrubs and the permanent lake feature provides wetland habitat for invertebrates, fish and birds. The normal water level is maintained by a small outlet weir at the base of the dam. The lake is fed by Scalford Brook that enters through an inlet weir with stepping stones and a footbridge to allow walkers to cross the brook. The small lower lake below the main dam is designed to reduce the energy of the water coming from the lake outlet culvert and the overflow spillway. This reduces the risk of channel erosion in the brook downstream of the reservoir and provides further wetland habitat.
The Park is criss-crossed by various footapths including the long-distance Jubilee Way which runs northwards to Belvoir Castle. Within the park there are several short prepared walks including a Wildlife Walk, a Woodland Walk and a Walk for Health. A Sensory Garden is located near the Visitor Centre and main car park which lies at the end of Wymondham Way [SK756208]
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Blackbird||Turdus merula||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|House Sparrow||Passer domesticus||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Robin||Erithacus rubecula||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Blue Tit||Cyanistes caeruleus||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Wood Pigeon||Columba palumbus||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Moorhen||Gallinula chloropus||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Black-headed Gull||Chroicocephalus ridibundus||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Mute Swan||Cygnus olor||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Canada Goose||Branta canadensis||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Gadwall||Anas strepera||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Mallard||Anas platyrhynchos||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Tufted Duck||Aythya fuligula||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Coot||Fulica atra||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Kestrel||Falco tinnunculus||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
|Magpie||Pica pica||14/01/2018||David Unwin|
Country Park Visitor Centre 01664 480122
Melton Borough Council 01664 502502
A pdf download of the park brochure can be found at:
There are four free car parks serving the Country Park. These are located within Melton at the end of Wymondham Way accessed off Scalford Road, on Redwood Avenue, Willow Drive and on Doctors Lane. The main pedestrian access is from Snow Hill and Redwood Avenue. The Visitors Centre at the end of Wymondham Way has disabled access, baby-changing facilities, a cafe, and distributes free poop-scoop bags.