Biodiversity in Warwick District

Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you’ll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world.

Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life. Biodiversity supports everything in nature that we need to survive: food, clean water, medicine, and shelter.

Biodiversity Action Plan

In October 2022, Warwick District Council resolved to declare an Ecological Emergency, recognising the startling decline in our natural world and the need to act. We're now in the process of developing a Biodiversity Action Plan that will be considered by Cabinet in February 2023.

The Biodiversity Action Plan will deliver the following aims:

  1. To improve biodiversity in the green spaces managed by the Council and its contractors, taking full account of public safety and amenity requirements including events
  2. To set out options for further reducing the amount of Glyphosate and other toxic chemicals that is used by WDC and its contractors, including at least one option to completely eliminate their use
  3. To ensure that the provisions of the Environmental Act 2021 for Biodiversity Net Gain are fully implemented in all developments in the District and that Biodiversity Net Gain is maximised in all developments that WDC has a financial interest in
  4. To ensure that biodiversity runs through the new South Warwickshire Local Plan, for example, by creating green corridors
  5. Linking in with the Warwickshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan and emerging Nature Recovery Strategy, to work in partnership with other agencies including the County Council, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent and other relevant bodies to improve the biodiversity of areas supported by the natural water systems in the District including the development of natural flood management and drought resistant water courses and bodies of water
  6. To seek opportunities to invest the Carbon Offset Fund in projects that both sequester carbon and increase biodiversity
  7. To develop a public awareness and education plan for biodiversity in collaboration with WWT, charities and community groups, focussing on what individuals and groups can do in their own local areas

No Mow May

We're supporting Plantlife's annual No Mow May campaign by suspending grass cutting in parts of the District throughout May, letting grass and wild plants grow naturally to support insects and other wildlife.

No Mow May information and FAQs.

Biodiversity in Warwick District

Biodiversity has always been at the heart of our open space planning and maintenance, with our officers often thinking outside of the 'bird box' to improve and enhance our spaces for wildlife. Below are just a few examples.

Bird boxes

We have over 600 bird boxes across the district in our parks, open spaces and cemeteries. They provide shelter, food and nesting opportunities for lots of wildlife including birds, bats, wasps, hornets, mice and a myriad of insects.

The boxes are guaranteed for 25 years and made from woodcrete, an insulating material providing warmth and roosting potential.

The provision of bird boxes has helped numerous species in decline including Nuthatch and Wagtails. Nuthatches are particularly interesting as they like to put their own stamp on the bird box by installing a mud door. They also differ to other birds by using wood chip to build their nests rather than the normal mosses and plant material.

We have also created floating nest rafts in some of the lakes in our open spaces – made from old wheeled bins! These are popular with Moorhens and Coots.

Floating no fishing sign made from an old wheeled bin

Bird feeding

We have set up bird feeding stations in Jephson Gardens and St Mary’s Land to encourage birds (and discourage pests!) into our open spaces.

We have also started sowing wild bird feeding crops in certain areas across the district to provide a seed and nectar source. The mix of plant species is also good for general biodiversity.

Sustainable planting

We started the move to more sustainable planting over 11 years ago. Back then we were planting over 160,000 bedding plants every year for summer displays in our parks and open spaces.

Over the years we have reduced this to 40,000, which in turn has reduced our carbon footprint through less intensive growing and maintenance regimes.

It has also increased the resilience of plants to climate change which proved very beneficial during the summer heatwaves. The sustainable planting schemes offer lots of biodiversity benefits too.

Sustainable planting and bug walls at Oakley Wood Crematorium, Leamington Spa

Sustainable planting and bug walls at Oakley Wood Crematorium, Leamington Spa

Sustainable planting at entrance to Jephson Gardens in Leamington Spa, including ‘tree pole’ for solitary insect species.

Sustainable planting at entrance to Jephson Gardens in Leamington Spa, including ‘tree pole’ for solitary insect species.

Sustainable planting on Castle Island outside main entrance to Warwick Castle

Sustainable planting on Castle Island outside main entrance to Warwick Castle

Bulb planting

As part of the routine refurbishment of our parks and open spaces we have introduced spring bulb planting. This creates displays of crocus and daffodil in early spring which provide vital food and nectar sources for bees, wasps and other insects once they wake from hibernation.

With the decline of certain insect species, particularly bees, and species waking earlier from hibernation due to a warmer climate, these early sources of food and nectar are vital to their survival.

Examples of these bulb displays can be seen in Clarendon Square and Victoria Park in Leamington Spa.

Crocuses in bloom in Victoria Park

Crocuses in bloom in Victoria Park


As well as bulb planting, we have also introduced meadows into some of our parks as part of routine refurbishment. Meadows are flower-rich grasslands which are left to grow long. They’re great for insects such as bees and butterflies and add lots of colour to our parks throughout the seasons.

They require less intensive management compared to normal grass – they are cut on a yearly cycle rather than 10 times a year for normal grass. This helps to reduce our carbon footprint whilst encouraging biodiversity.

Longer grass is also good for water retention during periods of intense rainfall which helps protect the soil and reduce flooding.

‘Bog’ bug house

An old derelict toilet in Warwick Cemetery has been converted into a bug house! The bug house is made entirely out of recycled materials. We used old hanging baskets to create nesting chambers for hedgehogs, created log piles for roosting insects, drilled holes for solitary bees and wasps and created space in the roof for roosting birds and bats.

The old toilet is now a comfy home to lots of species, all living together harmoniously.

Bog bug house, with a wild roof and logs in the doorway

Tree poles

Dead wood is an important food source and habitat for hundreds of species of plants, fungi and animals. Where trees have died or lost large branches in our parks and open spaces, we will leave them in situ wherever safe and appropriate.

In some cases, we have created ‘tree poles’ by uprighting branches in the ground and then drilling holes to provide homes for solitary insects such as bees and wasps.

In other cases, we’ll leave large branches lying on the ground to release nutrients back into the soil and provide a good source of rotting timber for nests. They’re also great for climbing on!