The new habitat types were seeded with a mix of native neutral grassland wildflowers and the banks of the lakes were planted with native marginal plants to provide good diversity over a short period. Native tree and shrub planting has also provided additional habitat for birds.
The site is surprisingly species-rich considering the short period it has had to establish. The open waters are a haven for dragonflies and damselflies. Common amphibians breed and freshwater mussel and other invertebrates have colonised from the nearby watercourse and ponds. Little egret, Grey heron, Mute swan and Mallard are regulars. Swifts and swallows feed off the insects with bees, hoverflies and other insects recorded within this Buzzing Hotspot.
Total species seen at this site: 349
Until 2015 this site was a piece of regularly mown amenity grassland which formed part of the former John Ellis School site (the school was demolished in the early 1990s).
The area was identified as part of a strategic flood alleviation scheme with works planned along the River Soar to improve flood storage during storm events. Fortunately both the Environment Agency and City Council sought to implement Blue-Green techniques for flood storage rather than rely on traditional engineering methods that could have resulted in high walls and hard infrastructure.
The site was designed to include a large and permanent area of open water, meadow areas, shrub and tree planting as well as retaining its mature White poplar and Crack willow trees along the boundary.
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Green Dock Beetle||Gastrophysa viridula||09/05/2019||Peter Smith|
|Dusky Slug||Arion subfuscus||04/05/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Sloe Bug||Dolycoris baccarum||04/05/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Ragged-Robin||Silene flos-cuculi||01/05/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|24 Spot Ladybird||Subcoccinella vigintiquattuorpunctata||01/05/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Brooklime||Veronica beccabunga||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Bristly Oxtongue||Helminthotheca echioides||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Meadowsweet||Filipendula ulmaria||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Gypsywort||Lycopus europaeus||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Mallard||Anas platyrhynchos||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Ragged-Robin||Silene flos-cuculi||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Colt's-foot||Tussilago farfara||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Water Mint||Mentha aquatica||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Common Bird's-foot-trefoil||Lotus corniculatus||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
|Ribwort Plantain||Plantago lanceolata||29/04/2019||Ben Devine|
The site is located adjacent to the River Soar and is best reached along the Riverside Walk/Sustrans cycle way on foot or by bicycle. If this is not possible, car parking is available at the nearby National Space Centre or Abbey Pumping Station (during events only). Access is off Corporation Road to these car parks with extremely limited parking on the road.