… and Flora
A variety of tree species can be seen in the Park including Ash and Willow trees. In the scrub areas you will also find Elder, Hawthorn and Elm. Several mature Willow pollards line the river. Standing and fallen deadwood has been retained throughout the Park to provide valuable habitat for wildlife, such as mosses, fungi, lichens, flies and beetles. New tree planting has been undertaken to diversify the range of trees present in the Park and provide additional habitat to attract new species. They include Oak, Spindle, Wayfaring tree and Hazel.
Look out for the yellow flowers of Cowslips throughout the grassland in springtime. Wildflower planting and seeding has added colour to the meadow and extended the flowering seasons. Species introduced include Oxeye Daisy, Harebell, Knapweed, Meadow Buttercup and Field Scabious.
The mix of native wildflowers is important to invertebrates such as grasshoppers and butterflies. Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper butterflies are regularly found in grasslands in mid summer. Peacock butterflies and Small Tortoiseshells may lay their eggs on the nettles.
Trees: Ash, Crab Apple, Pedunculate Oak, Plum, Spindle, Wayfaring Tree, White Poplar, White Willow, Crack Willow and Wild Cherry
Thickets: Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Dog Rose, Goat Willow and Guelder Rose.
The southern part of the Park includes areas of old and remnant orchard. These have recently been extended and strengthened by the removal of scrub and the planting of new fruit trees.
Apple varieties: Cox, Jonagold, James Grieve and Spartan.
Pear varieties: Conference and Doyenne du Commice.
Plum varieties: Victoria and Cambridge Gage. The blossom of the fruit trees will provide a dramatic floral display in late spring, and the fallen fruit will provide a useful food resource for native wildlife.
Local badgers in particular will benefit from the abundant supply of fruit at a time of year when they need to build up their fat supplies for the winter. Badgers are omnivorous (eat both small animals and plants) and may forage in the short grassland to find their favourite prey of earthworms.