BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Marsh marigold
Marsh marigold

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

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.

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Breathing Places Weekend at BEES UNR

BEES Urban Nature Reserve, Summer Activities 2009

 

Geolocation

53.785131, -1.768405

Conservation Work

Urban Nature Reserve

Bradford University Campus. Laisteridge Lane.

We will be carrying out grass management using traditional tools, such as scythes and sickles and mowing pathways. Clearing duckweed from the surface of the pond and preserving our new benches with linseed oil. 

If you would like to come along, please get in touch.

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.

We are having  woodchip and some wooden benches delivered to the site to help us maintain paths and group areas. We will be barrowing and digging holes for the posts. 

Please get in touch if you want to come.

BEES Nature Reserve

Laisteridge Lane

We will be continuing with work to renew the BEES nature reserve, as part of the Postcode Local grant. Today we will be planting trees to form a shrub layer for added cover and food for birds. We will be replacing the old steps and doing winter management jobs. 

BEES Nature Reserve Pond clearance

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

We will be continuing with 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. We will be giving the pond more attention this year in order to remove fallen leaves and organic matter, that has built up in previous years, to improve the water quality. There will be lots of land based work for those who prefer not to go in. 

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.

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Laisteridge Lane, BD5

We decided not to remove vegetation from the ponds this autumn as the growth over the summer seems to have been limited, perhaps due to the shade from the trees.

We cut all areas of the meadow and vegetation around the pond and dug out some of the nettles, scattering wildflower seed from the Bradford Bee Keepers in the exposed soil. We removed a vast quantity of litter; fly tipping from All Saints Road continuing to be a big problem. 

We are going to need to replace the wooden benches as quite a few have rotten.  
 

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Laisteridge Lane

We returned to the Reserve to continue with the tree thinning to allow more light onto the woodland bank and into the ponds. Coppicing the hazel and some ash on the bank has made a big impact. 

On the woodland side of the pond we tackled the large overhanging willow. We successfully removed one large branch, but this was really at the limits of our ability and endurance with hand tools. There was one ash we had our eyes on but have realised that if we are going to tackle this we will need help from a chain saw (and operator). 

Although things have improved a bit, there is still evidence of drug use.  It seems sensible to seek some funding to buy in a cleansing service, a tree surgeon and some timber to place some of the benches. 

 
 

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Laisteridge Lane

We started our winter programme of tree thinning and branch removal today. We cut the coppiced hazel on the bank, and immediately we could tell more light will be getting to the ground to help the flowers. A key aim is to allow more light onto the ponds, to this end we wanted to remove some of the large over hanging branches from the ash trees. The task wasn’t without its excitement - high and heavy branches - but we have made a successful start and will continue when we return in January. 

The university removed 3 skip loads of fly-tipped waste last week. The banking is looking much better, but there is still rubbish to clear on our next visit. 

 
 

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Laisteridge Lane

27th Oct 201727th Oct 2017We haven’t been to the Reserve much this summer, with none of our regular schools groups visiting due to the anti-social behaviour that we have had to deal with. So when we arrived it was looking a bit unloved and abandoned. However, it was amazing what we achieved – all the meadow areas and paths were cut and raked, and over hanging branches cut back.

We decided not to remove vegetation from the pond as it was quite sparse in relation what we normally experience at this time of year. However, the lower pond was covered in a film of oil so we did need to address this. We used newspaper and paper towels to absorb the oil. We didn’t have enough to finish the job, but made a good start.

 

Whilst sitting for lunch we were aware of the lovely autumn sunshine, but none of it is reaching the ponds or grassland (or us). We will schedule a couple of days in the winter to coppice hazel on the bank and remove a few other trees. The long-tailed tits kept us company all day.