Nature Watch

Each season at the park brings its own delights. In the winter it may seem as though the park is sleeping but there is still plenty to see, including the famous Lydiard display of snowdrops (Galanthus) and the yellow flowers of the lesser celandine. Spring sees the blossom and bulbs; meanwhile the blackbirds and thrushes are claiming their territories and the grey squirrels indulge in their courtship chases! High summer is a particularly busy time in the glorious walled garden whilst autumn is vivid with berries and the leaves turning bronze and gold.

The park has a great wildlife diversity: Amongst a range of reptile and amphibian species there are newts, grass snake, common lizard, toads and frogs. Mammals that inhabit the park include foxes, badgers and deer whilst the lakes provide habitat for a variety of water fowl such as coot, moorhen, great crested grebe, tufted duck, mallard duck, Canada geese, little grebe, common tern, herring gulls and swans.

There are many other bird species in the woods including nuthatches, tree creepers, thrush and pied wagtails. You may hear the loud tap of the great spotted woodpecker and at dawn and dusk the call of the tawny owl. Whenever you visit, there is so much to explore.

Wildlife in January

There is plenty to see when you are out and about in Lydiard Park in the winter. Look out for the early snowdrop shoots breaking the ground with the first signs of spring. They normally flower between January and March, starting with the first green tips and ending in a glorious carpet of white on the lawns and beneath the trees.

Of course, if it snows, there will be a completely different carpet of white to enjoy! The first few months of the year have seen snow at Lydiard in the recent past. When you go out, not only can you see the human footprints and dog pawprints in the park, but a multitude of other visitors – deer, fox, squirrel and birds of all sorts!

With the trees bare of leaves it’s time to admire their mossy coats. There are over 400 types of mosses and lichens found in our local area; the north facing trunks of trees are their perfect habitat as they provide the damp conditions needed, but you can also find moss deep in the crevices of the roots where they provide a home to tiny organisms that are too small for us to see!