Lydiard Park boasts some 260 acres of mixed habitats that accommodate a wide range of wildlife. Although the park is enjoyed by around 700,000 visitors every year, our wildlife enjoys a good level of protection through the refuge of semi-natural areas, habitat management and building contacts with external organisations, including Swindon Swan Sanctuary and veterinary surgeons. The Lydiard Park Warden team ensure that the welfare of species in the park is protected and some monitoring takes place, such as counts of water bird numbers.
The majority of the area within Lydiard Park is composed of corallian limestone or coral rag, which produces a thin alkaline soil. This gives a variety of habitats. There are several different compartments of semi-natural woodland with a variety of dominant species, depending on what has been planted and what is naturally occurring these include beech, ash and oak. There are areas of grassland with low fertiliser input, where hay and silage crops are taken yearly by tenant farmers.
The park has a diverse range of reptile and amphibian species, including newts, grass snake, common lizard, toads and frogs. Mammals are represented by fox, badger (active setts within the park), roe deer, muntjac deer, rabbits, grey squirrels and smaller rodents. Having two lakes gives home to a variety of water fowl such as coot, moorhen, great crested grebe, tufted duck, mallard duck, Canada geese, little grebe, common tern, herring gull, and our pair of swans with their four cygnets.
Other bird species includes nuthatches, tree creepers, thrush, pied wagtails, great spotted woodpecker, tawny owl, kingfisher and many common residents and migrants’ species.