Local school helps as woodland park gets biodiversity boost

Pupils from Donisthorpe Primary School with King Industries

Donisthorpe Woodland Park has welcomed the arrival of eight new bird and bat boxes.

Based in the heart of the National Forest and along the Ashby Canal, the Leicestershire County Council-run country park has seen the new bird and bat boxes installed with the help of Donisthorpe Primary School.

The local schoolchildren have helped choose which trees in the park these boxes will be installed on, and two of the boxes will also be installed at the school. 

Work to restore reedbeds and a bore hole pump was commissioned by the council to ensure the canal has enough water during dry weather conditions – meaning water can be pumped from old mine workings and cleaned before entering the canal.

King Industries Ltd, who were commissioned to undertake the water-cleaning initiative, donated the bird and bat boxes to Donisthorpe Woodland Park.

Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for the environment and green agenda, said: “The reedbeds are an important habitat for wildlife, and restoring the reedbeds is an environmentally friendly way to clean the canal water.”

“These works will ensure people can continue to explore the Ashby canal for years to come.”

Councillor Lee Breckon, cabinet member for resources and country parks, said: “Our parks like Donisthorpe Woodland Park are great places for people to relax and discover the beauty of nature.

“We would like to thank King Industries Ltd for their generous contribution of bird and bat boxes and Donisthorpe Primary School for helping to install them.”

Director of Health & Safety Lee Wood from King Industries said: “We are delighted to work with the county council to further improve their environment. 

“Donisthorpe Primary School pupils had a fantastic morning on the construction site around some of the construction equipment and assisted in identifying suitable trees for the installation of the bat & bird boxes, which the Site Team erected for them.

“King Industries is proud to be of service to Leicestershire County Council, whilst bringing environmental and ecological enhancements to the local community.”

The park is home to a range of species, including kingfishers, blue tits, goldfinches, jackdaws and wood pigeons – and any visitors can record any species they spot on the NatureSpot website

The canal, which runs through Donisthorpe Woodland Park, was originally constructed to serve the coalfields around Moira and Measham in Leicestershire.

In recent years, restoration work has helped areas of the canal, at Snarestone and between Moira and Donisthorpe, reopen. 

This work is part of the county council’s continued work in making space for nature. A consultation on the priorities for the upcoming Local Nature Recovery Strategy is open until 26 May on the consultations section of the website.

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