Making safe spaces for nature, and giving people better opportunities to learn more about our diverse ecosystem is so important for the health and wellbeing of the city.
Since 1970, 60 per cent of wild invertebrate and up to 76 per cent of insects have been lost globally. When we announced our Ecological Emergency in 2020, we committed to doing as much as we could to bring back this lost wildlife to communities in Bristol. Through investment in projects such as St George Park Lake, we hope to provide more habitats for animal and plant life to flourish in our city.
St George Park Lake has reopened to the public after restoration, repair and enhancement works. I am sure people will enjoy strolling around the lake and spotting all the changes and over time looking out for new wildlife who will make this their home.
The lake reopens after a £400,000 investment to restore the facilities for Bristol residents and visitors to enjoy, and to make improvements to benefit the local wildlife. The restoration has made the area more attractive for birds, bats, insects, frogs, and other wildlife as well as improving the ecology on the island in the lake, where the wildfowl nest and rear their young each year. The new boardwalk dipping platform will be a great place for children and school groups to get closer to nature and learn all about Bristol’s beautiful and diverse natural world.
Residents and visitors will notice a range of enhancements in and around the lake designed to improve accessibility for everyone and complement the natural environment. These include; completely new and safer pathways, a new amphitheatre area for outdoor performances, and new bird and bat boxes. Information boards about the history, biodiversity and ecology of the lake will also be installed by end of the year.
In the next couple of months planting will take place on the island to improve ground cover and add to the plant diversity for birds and pollinators. Fencing around the amphitheatre area will remain in place until the newly planted grass is fully established. A number of repairs have also been done behind the scenes to make sure this important Victorian lake can be enjoyed by future generations. These include strengthening the lake walls, desilting the lake, improving drainage and putting in new benches.
The silt removed from the lake was used to help build the new amphitheatre, but has also been used to create new natural wetland areas full of marginal and aquatic plant species where wildfowl, amphibious creatures and insects can thrive. Birds, bees, frogs, and pond micro-beasts, such as water-boatmen and pond-skaters will likely-benefit in the short-term, but in the future it is hoped, dragonflies, damselflies, newts, and bats too, will come to enjoy the new mini-wetland habitat.
To read more about how the council is managing our green spaces for the benefit of wildlife , visit the council’s website.