Wildlife

Amphibians

The ponds on the reserve are home to Great Crested Newts, protected under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  The presence of seasonal ponds is crucial to their survival as they cannot compete with fish in the permanent ponds.   Frogs (Rana temporaria) are also recorded annually, breeding in the seasonal ponds.

 

Flora and Fauna

Several separate surveys have been carried out on the reserve demonstrating that the site has a valuable and fragile flora in a local setting. 

There are no nationally important species but several are rare or scarce within the county.  For example :

  • Common Twayblade,

  • Common Spotted Orchid,

  • Adder's Tongue fern

  • Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foctidus). 

A total of 120 species of flowering plants have been recorded, 23 tree species and 8 shrubs.  14 species of grass and 3 species of sedge and rush have also been found. 

There is a need for a comprehensive botanical survey to update the list and study the distribution of species, all of which can then be linked with appropriate management.

 

Click for Flowering Plants detailed listing




Mammals

The area holds a typical suburban mixture of small and large mammals.  Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) concentrations fluctuate considerably, despite this they remain one of the commonest mammals in the park.  There is a small population of Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), although the visitor pressures adversely effect their presence.  The site provides an important feeding area for bats roosting in the locality.  Three species, Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), Whiskered (Myotis mystacinus) and Noctule (Nyctalus noctula) have been recorded feeding over the ponds and meadow edges annually during the summer months.   Bats are protected under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  Possible sightings of Pipistrelles have been reported in winter months during daytime. Bat boxes have been erected since 1993 and Pipistrelle and Brown Long-Eared bats have been recorded using the boxes as summer roosts.

 

Click here for Mammals detailed listing

Invertebrates / Butterflies

Butterfly recording transects were carried out annually on the reserve in the 1990s.  22 species have occurred, including the regionally rare White Letter Hairstreak.  A small colony survives on Elm (Ulmus procera) at the west end of the woodland. 

The site also has a good population of Comma (Polygonia c-album) which is a regionally scarce species.  The presence of large numbers of vanessids in August is a regular attraction (250 Peacocks (Inachis io) present on one day in 1994).  A comprehensive butterfly and invertebrate was undertaken in 2003, the report is held on file.

 

Click here for Invertebrates/Butterflies detailed listing

Birds

The reserve has 116 species recorded in an area that includes Hessle Foreshore.  Many of these records are of a passage or accidental nature.  35 species bred in 1991 and 1992, the breakdown of this common bird census is held on file.  The most notable breeding bird is Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), one or two pairs nest annually but their success is highly dependant upon the lack of disturbance in the spring.  Their status in the region is rare.

Can you identify birds by their song? Try this link to the BBC

 Click here for Birds detailed listing