Knighton Spinney is an area of mature woodland that is home to a variety of wildlife, including displays of wood anemones and bluebells in the spring. Squire Craddock-Hartopp planted oak trees to form the spinney in 1840 to help provide oak wood for future shipbuilding. To make the oaks grow tall and straight, ash were planted in between them. Later Craddock decided to keep the woodland as a fox covert and in 1932 a covenant was published declaring that the spinney should be a nature reserve for all time. The spinney is fenced off from the rest of the park and is open to the public on some Sundays with the support of volunteer wardens. As an area of mature oak woodland, the spinney is home to many birds, including green and great-spotted woodpeckers, nuthatches, blackcaps and many others.
Mature flower beds provide an attractive and long-flowering season for invertebrates. These are particularly rich in areas surrounding the Spinney, the Heath Garden and Sensory Garden.
Saffron Brook has remained more natural through the main section of the park. The pools and riffles support a range of aquatic invertebrates and the banks are allowed to grow more naturally to support nesting birds, invertebrates and foraging bats.
Total species seen at this site: 504
Leicester City Council has produced a Development Plan for the Park following an external consultation with local stakeholders and residents. This will help inform on the future of the park and its mixed uses, funding, management and opportunities.
Knighton Park is a significant area of green open space at the southern boundary of the ward, where it meets with Oadby and Wigston. It contains Knighton Spinney, which is a local nature reserve, and is open to the public on some Sundays. The Saffron Brook runs through the park, and there is a pond in the Heath Garden, both of which provide habitats for a number of aquatic species. The park contains a large number of native and ornamental trees, and there is a tree trail to guide visitors round 20 interesting and significant trees. Knighton Wild has produced an online version of the tree trail leaflet, which also includes some additional information about wildlife that you might encounter if you follow the trail round the park.
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Tulip-tree||Liriodendron tulipifera||14/05/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Holly Blue||Celastrina argiolus||14/05/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Speckled Wood||Pararge aegeria||14/05/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Green-veined White||Pieris napi||14/05/2019||Saharima Roenisch|
|Cloeon dipterum||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Wandering Pond Snail||Radix balthica||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Great Pond Snail||Lymnaea stagnalis||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|European fingernail clam||Sphaerium corneum||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Smooth Newt||Lissotriton vulgaris||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Ivy-leaved Duckweed||Lemna trisulca||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Water Mint||Mentha aquatica||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Purple-loosestrife||Lythrum salicaria||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Marsh-marigold||Caltha palustris||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Freshwater Shrimp||Gammarus pulex||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
|Water Soldier||Stratiotes aloides||28/04/2019||David Nicholls|
The park can be reached by public transport, and there is an entrance from Welford Road, which is served by the Arriva 47, 48 and 49 services. It is also possible to walk to the park from London Road, served by Arriva 31, or from Shanklin Drive, served by Arriva 44. (In all cases variants such as the 44A pass the same locations.)
Cyclists can reach the park from the City Centre via Victoria Park, Clarendon Park Road, Knighton Road and Carisbrooke Road (avoiding London Road and Welford Road). Palmerston Way, which runs past the park has cycle tracks and forms part of Leicester's Route 4.
There is a car park at the entrance on Palmerston Way.