Wymeswold Parish Council and Biodiversity

Wymeswold Parish Council is keen to protect and promote the biodiversity of our parish.

In recent years we have regularly planted bulbs in the village and last year (2021) we secured a grant from Leicestershire County Council for 7000 bulbs and 2 kilos of wildflower seeds. In late autumn parish councillors and a team of volunteers planted 2000 English bluebell bulbs and 1000 wood anemones in the woodland on the eastern outskirts of the village.

The woodland had originally been planted by local schoolchildren in the 1980s.

Bluebells planted in the woodland to the east of the village











We invited a local playgroup to help with the planting of the bluebells and anemones.

Wymeswold Playgroup helped plant bluebells and wood anemones in the woodland to the east of the village









1000 daffodil bulbs were planted in the grass outside Manor Court by over 50 volunteers.

50+ volunteers planted 1,000 daffodil bulbs in the grass outside Manor Court

Another 1000 daffodils were planted by volunteers at various locations in the village,
such as St Mary’s churchyard and along Hoton Road and Brook Street.
On the banks of the river Mantle on Brook Street we planted 1000 fritillary bulbs and
1000 snowdrop bulbs.

The wildflower seeds were scattered along the western verge of Burton Lane after the
mowing contractors had scarified the area. Seeds were also scattered on the rough piece
of land on the corner of Hoton Road and Brook Street, which is also being left uncut.

Area on the corner of Brook Street and Hoton Road where wildflower seeds and plugs have been sown









A recent survey by Richard Ellison, the village’s Tree Warden, found that at least 15 wildflower species have now established themselves in the verges, including yellow rattle.

In January Richard Ellison, with the help of Leicestershire County Council’s Martin Piggins and Adam Goodall, together with residents and parish councillors, planted about 50 oak and rowan whips. Sadly, most of the oaks have not survived, mainly because of the dry spring, but a dozen or so of the rowans and around 5 oaks have now come into leaf. A local resident kindly donated a voucher to the parish council which enabled us to plant
five specimen birch trees in the grass outside Manor Court.

From 2023 the parish council will be asking contractors not to begin mowing until June and then to mow much less often than they currently do. This will benefit insect populations because there will be more pollen and nectar for them as a result. We also hope to secure more grants for bulbs and trees this winter and will be looking for volunteers to help with the planting.


Wymeswold Parish Council Biodiversity Update for 2023:

All public bodies in England are now required by law to conserve and enhance biodiversity. This is the strengthened ‘biodiversity duty’ that the Environment Act 2021 introduced. Wymeswold Parish Council (WPC) is already very proactive in promoting and protecting the biodiversity of the parish. In the past four years, for example, the WPC has planted no fewer than 12,000 bulbs; primarily to provide nectar and pollen for insects in the spring months. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Ellison, the village’s tree warden, 8 nest boxes for swifts have been installed in the belfry of St Mary’s church. The contractor who manages the Cemetery and the grounds of St Mary’s Church has also erected several bird boxes in the Cemetery and set aside areas for wildflowers. Again, thanks to Richard Ellison, a parallel hedge has been planted in the Washdyke to provide additional shelter for wildlife and increase biodiversity. Approximately 60 trees have been planted in various locations: near Manor Court; along Burton Road; along Wysall Lane; and in the Washdyke.

The WPC has set aside two specific areas for wildflowers, which are only mown in the Autumn; namely Burton Lane and the corner of Hoton Road and Brook Street. The mowing contractor for the village has been instructed not to commence mowing in the village until June and to avoid mowing any wildflowers they see in the grass. As well as the wildflowers providing much needed pollen and nectar for insects in the spring, it also gives them the chance to set seed. This year bee orchids have been found in one of the areas left unmown in the Washdyke. Some villagers have complained about the rather untidy state of the grass verges. This is quite understandable, but the sobering fact that insect populations in Britain have declined by almost 60% in the past 20 years is one of the reasons why the Parish Council has adopted this new mowing regime, which is in line with our duty as a public body and complies with the Environment Act 2021.


Wildlife in Wymeswold

Since the glaciers of the last Ice Age melted, Britain has been colonised by many thousands of plants and animals. Some have since become extinct here as the weather has changed and warmed up, while others continue to migrate here, usually from continental Europe. They may be carried across the Channel on a warm wind, but may not be able to survive our winters, while others succeed, breed the following year, and are eventually accepted as native species.  

In Wymeswold it is not difficult to find hundreds of species of wildlife which are either here all year, hibernate during winter, or migrate here each year. We have a number of mammals, including the Badger, Muntjac, Roe Deer, Hedgehogs and numerous rodents – the rats, mice, voles and shrews. We have over sixty species of birds visiting the village, some are recent sightings, like the Red Kite over the last few years, and the Little Egret, (like a small white Heron). We have a species of reptile, the Grass Snake; several amphibians, the frogs, toads and newts; about twenty different butterflies, some of which hibernate, some of which migrate here during warm summers, and may even then fly hundreds of miles back home in the autumn. We have probably hundreds of species of moth, but most fly at night, so unless we have a humane moth trap we will not be aware of them, but amongst the day flyers are the Hummingbird Hawkmoth (only here on warm summers), the Mint Moth and the Six-spot Burnet Moth. Our dragonflies and damselflies, together called the Odonata, total twenty different species so far, with some living many generations here, and some flying in to check us out, then flying elsewhere where conditions are better for that species. There are others, just outside Leicestershire, which will almost certainly be with us soon. Other insects are here in huge numbers, and ones like bees, we cannot do without as they fertilise our food crops. There are also the invertebrates like worms, centipedes, millipedes, slugs and snails. 

Our wild flowers are wonderful, where the verges haven’t been weedkilled or mown too low. Again we have probably hundreds of species. Wild violets grow on the churchyard bank next to our village shop, and in front of the wall opposite The Nook.  Along the brook there is Meadowsweet – tall, white and fluffy. Checking out the Leicestershire and Rutland Reserve along Narrow Lane and you will see wonderful displays of Cowslips, Bugle, Spiny Rest Harrow as well as so many others in the Spring. Our trees and shrubs are wonderful, some flowering in spring, like the Hawthorn and Blackthorn, some producing fruit like the Crab Apple, but all being host to many birds and invertebrates which make the trees their home. All green plants are essential to taking in carbon dioxide which is partly the cause of Climate Change, but they also produce the oxygen we breathe. Amazing evolution!  

We can help wildlife to survive. Don’t use weedkiller, slug pellets or insecticide as they get into other wildlife. Leave your lawn to flower. Don’t mow them so often. Try to grow plants, shrubs and trees with flowers which the insects can get nectar from, so they need open flowers, not lots of tight petals. Try to ensure that hedgehogs can get through fences as they roam around at night. Put out water and food for birds and hedgehogs if you think you have them coming to your garden.  Let windfalls from your fruit trees stay on the ground to feed the birds and animals. Enjoy our wildlife. 

Lorraine Ellison (August 2022) 

Wildlife Photographs

Blood Veined Moth

Blue Tit

Brimstone Butterfly

Broad Bodied Chaser Dragonfly

Brown Argus Butterfly

Buff Ermine Moth


Comma Butterfly

Common Blue Butterfly (closed wings)

Common Blue Butterfly

Common Darter Dragonfly

Elephant Hawk Moth

Emerald Damselfly

Emperor Dragonfly

Four Spotted Chaser Dragonfly

Fox and Pheasant


Grass Snake

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Green Veined White Butterfly

Green Woodpecker

Grey Heron

Grey Squirrel




Large Red Damselfly

Mallard in Buttercups, Pignut and Yellow Rattle

Mint Moth



Orange Tip Butterfly (closed wings)

Orange Tip Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Pheasant in Meadow of Pignut

Poplar Hawk Moth

Red Admiral (closed wings)

Red Admiral

Red Eyed Damselfly

Ruddy Darter Dragonfly

Silver Washed Fritillary

Red Kite

Six Spot Burnet Moth


Small Copper

Small Skipper Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell

Song Thrush

Southern Hawker Dragonfly

Sparrow Hawk

Speckled Wood

Tree Bumblebee