Aylestone Meadows

    Map key:

    • Selected Wild Place = PINK
    • Other Wild Places = RED
    • Public Rights of Way = GREEN
    • VC55 boundary = BLUE
    Getting There

    There are several access points with free car parking. Canal Street, off Aylestone Road, provides good access to the east section at city end  and Evesham Rd off Narborough Rd provides a small amount of parking by the Great Central Way to the western area.  A car park at the end of Sanvey Lane in Aylestone village leads you into the more southern part.

    Managed By
    Leicester City Council
    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 750


    Aylestone Meadows is the best area for wildlife within the city of Leicester. It is a sizeable green wedge along the River Soar and Grand Union Canal and is also bisected by the former Great Central Railway line - now a popular walking and cycling route. In the past, a large area of the flood meadows was used as a landfill site and today the landscaped mound is used as a sports pitch. The mixture of aquatic habitats, grazed meadows, ponds and rough grassland provides a rich and diverse habitat for much wildlife.

    Wildlife Highlights

    The area is a good all-round site for birds and occasionally throws up something unusual during migration time. It is very rich in insect life too.  Grey heron and Little egret are regularly seen along with Swift, Swallows and House martins feeding over the floodplain and occasional Skylark in the fields. Woodland, scrub and grassland mosaics provide a haven for invertebrates in these areas.

    The diverse habitats range from traditional flood meadow to the south and ridge and furrow to the central section – both of which are still grazed by cattle and horses provide some refuge for relic species such as marsh marigold and spearwort (after which one of the fields is named) as well as harebell rarely found in the city.  Post-industrial landscapes along the Great Central Way support Restharrow – another rarity in the city.

    Field ponds dotted about support damsel and dragonflies as well as common species of amphibians and aquatic invertebrates.  These ponds tend to be ephemeral and dry out over the summer.

    Bioblitz image.JPG

    In 2013 a bioblitz was held at Aylestone Meadows, organised by the City Council. A report of the event and the species found can be seen here.

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Algae, Bacteria, VirusMossy Willow Catkin GallCauser unknown (Mossy Willow Gall)25/08/2017
    AmphibiansCommon ToadBufo bufo08/04/2010
    AmphibiansSmooth NewtLissotriton vulgaris27/05/2016
    AmphibiansCommon FrogRana temporaria18/05/2013
    Barklice & BookliceEctopsocus briggsi27/04/2019
    Barklice & BookliceGraphopsocus cruciatus02/09/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsAchaius oratorius04/09/2014
    Bees, Wasps, AntsHairy-footed Flower BeeAnthophora plumipes26/04/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsHoney BeeApis mellifera25/09/2016
    Bees, Wasps, AntsRed-tailed BumblebeeBombus lapidarius08/07/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon Carder BumblebeeBombus pascuorum29/09/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsBuff-tailed BumblebeeBombus terrestris09/06/2016
    Bees, Wasps, AntsIvy BeeColletes hederae15/09/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsGorytes laticinctus16/08/2015
    Bees, Wasps, AntsYellow Meadow AntLasius flavus11/04/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsJet AntLasius fuliginosus29/09/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsSmall Black AntLasius niger15/08/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsFabricius' Nomad BeeNomada fabriciana09/06/2016
    Bees, Wasps, AntsGerman WaspVespula germanica29/09/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon WaspVespula vulgaris11/10/2015
    Beetles2 Spot LadybirdAdalia bipunctata27/04/2007
    Beetles10 Spot LadybirdAdalia decempunctata18/05/2013
    BeetlesAltica lythri13/05/2010
    BeetlesAnaspis fasciata27/04/2019
    BeetlesAnaspis maculata27/04/2019
    BeetlesWater LadybirdAnisosticta novemdecimpunctata17/09/2015
    BeetlesApion frumentarium23/05/2017
    BeetlesAplotarsus incanus18/05/2013
    BeetlesAthous haemorrhoidalis18/05/2013
    BeetlesBembidion lunulatum31/03/2009