Burley Wildlife Group

Published: 29 February 2020

The Burley Village Wildlife Group has been in existence for nearly 20 years. It was originally set up by in 2002 to take over the wildlife management of the Sun Lane Nature Reserve which is renovated land owned by Bradford Council, on what used to be the Council Tip, on the west side of the Village. The Group began with 6 members and had success in establishing Work Parties to manage the Reserve which is now teeming with biodiversity and a wealth of wild flowers that in turn support a wide variety of insects etc all the way up the food chain.

In addition, the Group have acted on behalf of the village to liaise with Bradford Council on the management of the Burley bypass where grass cuts are now restricted to two per year. As a result of which independent surveys have demonstrated a significant increase in biodiversity.

With Spring around the corner, if you are lucky enough to have even a small garden, you can make a worthwhile contribution to biodiversity in Burley by planting in a manner which will attract insects. Avoid showy, over-bred and nectar-less flowers that are useless for wildlife and instead go for species that will delight you with the insects they attract. Examples include the various types of scabious and cranesbills, most herbs but especially rosemary, marjoram and lavender – there are many more too numerous to mention here. Ponds are a mega-attraction and, if you have the space a wood pile is great for wildlife to lay their eggs, hibernate etc. Avoid being too tidy and perhaps let a bit of your lawn grow wild – you will be amazed what will emerge. Above all else avoid the use of peat-based compost, peat being a major carbon store, and of chemicals which can have detrimental effect on wildlife by killing not just the ‘nuisance’ insects but the beneficial ones that prey on them such as ladybirds. There is, of course, a wealth of advice available on the internet as to how to transform your garden into a mini nature reserve and wildflower plug plants are often available from garden centres or through the post from a variety of suppliers.

The need to turn around the decline in biodiversity has never been greater and this is something we can all contribute to.

Peter Riley is a co-opted member of the Parish Council Community and Environment Committee and is open to questions or concerns about the Burley Wildlife Group or biodiversity in Burley peter.b.riley@btinternet.com