Astill Lodge Park

    Getting There

    Access onto the site can be gained from Bennion Road, Osprey Road and Stone Close.  There is a good bus service to Beaumont Leys and nearby Astill Park Road shops from where it is a short distance to walk to this park.

    Managed By
    Leicester City Council
    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 77

    Description

    Astill Lodge Park and Spinney is one of the smaller areas of Open Space found in Leicester and covers approximately 4.6 ha.   Although used historically for hunting deer, then grazing sheep as part of the much larger Beaumont Estate, the site has had a mixed history.  In 1890 it formed part of the Beaumont Leys Sewerage system, but then reverted to farmland with the small spinney planted in the early 1900s and extended in 1916 to the boundary still in place today.  In the 1970s the site was used as a domestic refuse site with parts of the old Astill Lodge farms knocked down and debris spread over the site.  The main part of the Park was created in 1984 following the closure of the site as a domestic refuse tip.  A soil cap was put in place and the area re-landscaped to provide areas of amenity open space and access for cyclists and walkers.
    The site contains areas of relatively species-rich and rough grassland, hedgerows, scrub and field pond.   The mature woodland to the south boundary is easily accessed and has a desire line footpath running through the centre.

    Wildlife Highlights

    The park is an important area for wildlife as it has a good range of habitats present in a compact area. The grassland is relatively species-rich which in turn attracts a range of invertebrates, particularly butterflies in the spring and summer.
    The pond is a good size and well-vegetated with emergent and aquatic vegetation, but has an area of open water retained to attract dragonflies and damselflies.  The pond rarely, if ever dries out and appears to be fed by a local spring which over-flows in early spring and so is important for amphibians and waterfowl with locally nesting moorhen and mallards seen regularly.
    The scrub areas support important populations of roosting starlings and other hedgerow birds which in early spring provide a constant chatter as they seek our nesting sites.
    The Spinney is mainly mature Oak and Ash with some under-storey hazel, hawthorn and elder.

    Latest records

    Common Name Latin Name Date Recorded Recorded By
    Field BindweedConvolvulus arvensis03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Bramble agg.Rubus fruticosus agg.03/09/2019David Nicholls
    BulrushTypha latifolia03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Great WillowherbEpilobium hirsutum03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Flowering-rushButomus umbellatus03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Common DarterSympetrum striolatum03/09/2019David Nicholls
    JackdawCorvus monedula03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Common NettleUrtica dioica03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Willow Redgall SawflyPontania proxima03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Salix x fragilis03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Bulrush BugChilacis typhae03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Common CouchElymus repens03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Amber SnailSuccinea putris03/09/2019David Nicholls
    Spear ThistleCirsium vulgare03/09/2019David Nicholls
    YarrowAchillea millefolium03/09/2019David Nicholls

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersField MapleAcer campestre03/09/2019
    WildflowersYarrowAchillea millefolium03/09/2019
    ButterfliesSmall TortoiseshellAglais urticae03/09/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsKnopper Oak Gall WaspAndricus quercuscalicis03/09/2019
    WildflowersCow ParsleyAnthriscus sylvestris03/09/2019
    SpidersGarden SpiderAraneus diadematus03/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesFalse Oat-grassArrhenatherum elatius03/09/2019
    WildflowersDaisyBellis perennis03/09/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon Carder BumblebeeBombus pascuorum03/09/2019
    WildflowersFlowering-rushButomus umbellatus03/09/2019
    Slugs & SnailsWhite-lipped SnailCepaea hortensis03/09/2019
    WildflowersCommon Mouse-earCerastium fontanum03/09/2019
    BugsBulrush BugChilacis typhae03/09/2019
    Grasshoppers & CricketsLesser Marsh GrasshopperChorthippus albomarginatus03/09/2019
    WildflowersCreeping ThistleCirsium arvense03/09/2019
    WildflowersSpear ThistleCirsium vulgare03/09/2019
    BirdsWood PigeonColumba palumbus03/09/2019
    Grasshoppers & CricketsLong Winged Cone-headConocephalus fuscus03/09/2019
    WildflowersField BindweedConvolvulus arvensis03/09/2019
    BugsDock BugCoreus marginatus03/09/2019
    BirdsJackdawCorvus monedula03/09/2019
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersHawthornCrataegus monogyna03/09/2019
    BirdsBlue TitCyanistes caeruleus03/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesCock's-footDactylis glomerata03/09/2019
    Slugs & SnailsNetted SlugDeroceras reticulatum03/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesCommon CouchElymus repens03/09/2019
    WildflowersGreat WillowherbEpilobium hirsutum03/09/2019
    Ferns & HorsetailsField HorsetailEquisetum arvense03/09/2019
    Flies, Gnats and MidgesEriothrix rufomaculata03/09/2019
    HoverfliesCommon Drone FlyEristalis tenax03/09/2019