Climate change - Biodiversity
Biodiversity in the borough
We have not used any peat for several years. All our annual bedding plants are grown in the East Midlands using peat free compost, and the pots are returned to the growers for use again. Our hanging baskets are now over 20 years old and are used every year. They have a built-in reservoir which reduces the amount of watering needed.
We have also significantly reduced the number of pesticides we use on our open spaces. We only use limited quantities where weed growth is prolific and cannot be controlled by hand weeding, such as in hard standing areas. In addition, we have started to replace verges and shrub beds with wildflowers to encourage pollinators and make space for nature. The areas covered by wildflowers will increase each year.
We have two Green Flag parks in our management: Hollycroft Park and Argents Mead. For several years running, Hollycroft Park was also awarded the prestigious People Choice award, making it one of the country’s top ten parks as voted for by members of the public. Green Flag awards assess commitment to sustainable horticulture and parks management and biodiversity. Hollycroft Park includes a sustainability bed planted 15 years ago so we could track which species survive well with our changing climate.
We manage Burbage common for wildlife, mowing this nature reserve to encourage wildflowers and maintain this beautiful grassland habitat. We are also leaving more areas of grass to grow long for wildlife. Examples include Roston Drive, the Battling Brook corridor and Ashby Road cemetery. We will be increasing the areas left unmown each year.
We employ a tree officer to look after our tree stock and woodlands, with our most important mature woodlands being the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Burbage and Sheepy woods. We have created several new woodlands, for example in Billa Barra Hill which is part of the National Forest, and most recently the Jubilee woodland on Brodick Road in Hinckley.
Annually, we plant more than 120 extra heavy standard trees across our sites. In recent years, we have significantly increased our tree planting numbers on our green spaces and, in 2022, we ran our first free tree scheme, gifting 23,000 free trees to residents, businesses, and community groups to increase our tree canopy cover and to absorb carbon.
In 2023 we will adopt our third green space strategy and action plan. This plan will go out to consultation in late January 2023 and includes key priorities to increase biodiversity and actions to reduce climate change impacts.
Last updated: 24/01/2023 11:05