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: 369
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|
|Osier||Salix viminalis||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Leaf mine||Phytomyza lappae||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Riband Wave||Idaea aversata||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|White Willow||Salix alba||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Pink Water-Speedwell||Veronica catenata||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Gymnetron villosulum||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Marmalade Hoverfly||Episyrphus balteatus||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Branched Bur-reed||Sparganium erectum||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Ruby Tiger||Phragmatobia fuliginosa||14/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Musk-mallow||Malva moschata||13/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Blue-tailed Damselfly||Ischnura elegans||13/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Hedge Bedstraw||Galium album||13/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Cinnabar||Tyria jacobaeae||10/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Emperor Dragonfly||Anax imperator||10/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Burnet Companion||Euclidia glyphica||10/07/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
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.