The project we’re working on at the moment is Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Coventry city council. We’re working in an urban park, Lakeview Park in Coventry and increasing the biodiversity in the park which has been identified as one of the key features and key attributes to the area. A lot of people come here to walk, a lot of dog walkers, a lot of children during the summer holiday, school holidays. Wildlife was one of the key features, the key benefits to the park, to the local area. One thing the park liked was open, still waters. We’re creating a series of pools, series of ponds that will be really good for, especially for amphibians and a whole host of wildlife- dragonflies, birds, etcetera.
The site is Northen park in Coventry. This has a river running through the middle and it’s part of the flood zones in terms of heavy rain, a good percentage of the park will flood. It’s an important flood protection area for the city of Coventry. What it likes is some of the open water features that’s where we’re looking to enhance along with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Coventry city council who run the park. We’re putting in five ponds in the low lying area which occasionally will flood anyway so that’s very useful in terms of heavy rainfall. That will top up the ponds, we won’t need any water source other than the rain and river when it floods over, will help top over the ponds.
Identified an area park where it’s not used by much as in terms of the walkers and the people who utilize the park but for sports and picnics during the summer. It’s quite a dump area so any picnickers tend to avoid it because it’s very damp on the foot which makes it graver for ponds because soon as we dig a pond it’s going to fill with water within a few weeks. One of the beauties of digging ponds is that the insects and invertebrates find it almost surprisingly quickly. Within a day or two, we can start getting the first diving beetles. In the summer, it will be visited by dragonflies and damselflies, sometimes while you’re still digging them.
Whereas things like woodlands will take 20 years, 30 years before you reach maturity, with ponds, within six months to 12 months you can have a mature looking pond looks like its been there for generations. Hopefully, in a years time, there’ll be a series of pools here, will have been fenced off and planted up by the wildlife trust who will be working here with volunteers over the coming few months once the ponds are established to get them planted up and get to the vegetation growing. Over there, there’ll be covered a bit of a magnet for everyone looking for keys species of wildlife that will get in the park.
Frogs and toads will use the ponds for breedings, there’ll be tadpoles within the pond. Hopefully, on a day a bit warmer than today there will be damselflies and dragonflies utilizing the ponds, eggling. There’ll probably be six or seven different species of dragonflies that will use the ponds quite richly. It’s fairly common very much that we’re working with the wildlife trust and the local council. The wildlife trust are very good at formulating the ideas and plans for habitat improvement, especially where people and wildlife can mix and especially here where you’ve got an urban park, mostly the urban park is tightly mowed grass which is great for sports and for picnics, perhaps not so good for wildlife.
We need to adjust some of the areas that the council are happy and can designate as being a wildlife priority area within the park and that can just introduce different species, different element to the park that’s currently missing. This is very typical of the type of projects we do, pond creation, off and on development sites where there’s mitigation work but often in conjunction with the wildlife trust and we work with a number of wildlife trusts over the years where purely the essence is for habitat creation.