The rural parish of Great Bowden is situated in South Leicestershire and surrounded by the Welland Valley. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) and was once the centre of a Saxon royal estate. The construction of the Grand Union Canal in 1809 provided a fuel supply and transport system for the local brickyard, whose products are still in evidence in the village. The canal's brief period of importance was challenged by the construction of the local railway in 1850, which split the village in half, compromising its historic integrity. In recognition of its special character a large part of the settlement has been designated a Conservation Area.
The parish is predominately surrounded by an undulating countryside consisting mainly of grazing and arable land. The parish boundaries are mainly watercourses with the River Welland to the east, Langton Brook to the north and the Grand Union Canal to the west. The Great Bowden Neighbourhood Plan identifies many green spaces as having notable wildlife and community value and lists 5 in particular that qualify for designation as Local Green Spaces. The Plan also identifies 28 sites of ecological interest with the Parish. The most well-known and important is Great Bowden Borrowpit (aka Great Bowden Brick Pit) off Langton Road - a 2.4 ha Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It was created during the construction of the nearby railway and has since developed an atypical marsh flora and tall fen plant community in poor-base soils.
Total species seen in this parish:
Thanks to the following for supporting this page:
- Leicestershire County Council
- Great Bowden Parish Council
Verges for wildlife
Parish Councils are being invited by Leicestershire County Council to take over the management of selected road verges in their area in order to improve their value for wildlife. So far, over 50 verges have been adopted and all have been, or will be, surveyed by NatureSpot to find out which species are already growing there. Surveys in 2020 revealed a surprising diversity of flora with an average of over 30 species on each verge. Encourage your parish council to take part! More information about the project can be found here.
Inspired by the Parish Council’s installation of phosphor-coated amber (bat-friendly) LED lighting over the footpath in Great Bowden’s Recreation Ground, a small number of volunteers, mainly recruited from the local LRWT group, started to monitor bat activity in and around The Rec, with occasional forays into the wider village. Read more
We continue to tend and monitor our first rewilded verges on Main Street; so far this spring we have renewed the scheme’s notices, repainted the blue hearts (cornflower blue), and attempted to reinstate the area dug-up by Western Power Distribution – a regular, if unwelcome, hazard on verges criss-crossed by the pipes and cables of utility companies. Fortunately, we had a few pots of wildflowers in stock and these plants have taken well in the dry solid clay. The Red Clover is already flowering and attracting bees. Given that establishing wildflower verges is a lengthy process, we are pleased with these two verges. The ‘triangle’ is doing particularly well; and given our ‘adventures’ last year (err... mistakes) when trying to establish Yellow (hay) Rattle we were relieved to find it has self-seeded and survived. Carolyn Ford May 2022
This spectacular Barn Owl was recorded in March 2021 near to the A6 just north of Great Bowden.
The images and records below are all from the parish and have been submitted by the community.
|Species group||Total no. of species||Total no. of records|
|Grasses, Rushes & Sedges||14||25|
|Slugs & Snails||10||10|
|Mites, Ticks & Pseudoscorpions||6||6|
|Trees, Shrubs & Climbers||5||5|
|Dragonflies and Damselflies||4||6|
|Ferns & Horsetails||2||3|
|Grasshoppers & Crickets||1||1|
|Craneflies, Gnats & Midges||1||1|
|Centipedes & Millipedes||1||1|
|Bees, Wasps, Ants||1||1|