BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Marsh marigold
Marsh marigold

Keep in touch with our current project Living Ponds on this page 

This project has been made possible by an award from Postcode Local Trust, a grantgiving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.


BEES have created a small nature reserve on land rented from the University on the Laisteridge lane campus. The Reserve began life in 1990 and although it has seen several changes over the years, it still offers a wonderful space for wildlife near the city centre.

It consists of two medium sized ponds, an area of trees and wildflower rich grassland. The ponds host a large population of Brown Hawker dragonflies and several species of damselfly. Birds regularly seen include goldfinch, great tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, blackbirds and thrushes.

Our priorities for management this autumn are to remove some of the submerged and marginal vegetation to allow more open water. Unfortunately we have New Zealand Pygmy weed, an invasive non-native plant, in the pond which needs controlling. We will also manage the trees to allow more sunlight into the pond.

The Reserve offers a great opportunity for our conservation volunteer group and for local schools to visit for environmental education sessions which compliment the classroom curriculum.

See the gallery of photos.


Breathing Places Weekend at BEES UNR

BEES Urban Nature Reserve, Summer Activities 2009



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Conservation Work

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Laisteridge Student Village. Laisteridge Lane. BD5 0NH

10:30-3:30: Tasks include mowing the paths to improve access and removing invasive weeds such as Giant Hogweed. We also need to build some minibeast trap doors for when school groups visit.

Please get in touch if you'd like to come along.

Urban Nature Reserve

Laisteridge Lane Student Village. Laiteridge lane. BD5 0NH

We  sowed some wildflower seeds   in the meadow and planted wood anemone and dog violet plugs in the woodland and cleared  and weeded the site. 

Urban Nature Reserve.

Bradford University Campus. Laisteridge Lane.

We added some crush and run  to our prepared revetment area by the pond platform and defined paths in the woods, to reduce straying from them and erosion of the woodland.


Urban Nature Reserve

Bradford University Campus. Laisteridge Lane.

A productive day, the grass was cut using scythes and sickles and a clear path for groups was mown. We cleared duckweed from the ponds and removed branches from the woodland area where there are species rich areas of wildflowers, to encourage them to spread and made habitat piles from the branches. We also removed wood avens and other unwanted plants.

The new benches were painted  with linseed oil to preserve them. The oil has really brought out the colour of the red cedarwood. 


Urban Nature Reserve

Bradford University Campus. Laisteridge Lane.

We completed the benches today and laid the woodchip along the paths and seating areas and it all looks fantastic. Volunteers also cleared back some branches that were damaged or encroaching on the paths around the site and created habitat piles from the arisings. 

Urban Nature Reserve

Bradford University Campus. Laisteridge Lane.

Our delivery of woodchip and benches came this morning, both consisting of locally sourced red cedarwood, so we  cleared the last of the woodchip from the paths in preparation and started constructing the new benches.

BEES Nature Reserve

Laisteridge Lane


Continuing with work to renew the BEES Urban Nature Reserve, as part of our Postcode Local Trust grant; today we replaced the old steps that lead down to the site.  We planted some trees, holly and guelder rose, to form a shrub layer to provide added cover and food for birds. We also did some clearing of vegetation in the woodland area and on the meadow on the railway cutting. 

BEES Nature Reserve Pond clearance

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Continuing the management of the pond, as part of a project of renewal of the ponds and site, through this coming year, that is funded by the Postcode Local Trust. Today we removed the piles of pond vegetation that we had left at the edge last time, to give any pond life chance to get back to the pond. We raked fallen autumn leaves from around the pond edges to prevent them blowing in and from the surface of the water to try to prevent a build up of rotting organic matter in the pond. 

BEES urban Nature Reserve

Bradford University, Laisteridge Lane campus

Making a start today on a project of renewal at the Nature Reserve.

We kicked off our Postcode Local Fund year by clearing felled timber from around the ponds, manually re-cutting the grass paths and removing litter accumulated around one seating area.  This was a good opportunity to take a look at the site and consider what the priorities for management will be over the next 12 months.