Parks and open spaces across the district are a haven for wildlife.

It's important we protected their habitats and enable the flora and fauna to thrive. This can be by planting the correct plants, such as wildflowers or bedding plants that are rich in pollen, to attract bees and pollinators. It can also be as simple as providing suitable habitats such as bird and bat boxes, log piles and insect hotels, or planting the right plants and trees according to the location.

You can find out more on the Wildlife Trust website.

With the help of volunteers, more than 5,500 wildflower plugs have been planted on the Stray to help attract pollinators. There are two main areas, one on Leeds Road Stray (by the railway line) and the other, around the crocus patches from Wedderburn House Drive to the changing rooms on York Place Stray. These area will not be cut until the end of the season and we will also be leaving the crocus and daffodil patches until September before they are cut.

Some grass verges across the district, as well as areas of some closed churchyards in Kirk Deighton, Kirkby Overblow, Kirkby Malzeard, Aldborough, Burton Leonard and Knaresborough St Johns, will be left longer before they are cut.

All our formal bedding areas across the district now include more single, open flowers such as rudbeckia, gazanias, cosmos and open flowered dahlias. In our woodland areas we are leaving log piles as habitats and vegetation over winter.

We work with local community-led groups to enhance the district for wildlife and biodiversity. This includes:

Harrogate area

  • RHS Harlow Carr, Valley Gardens, Harrogate
    RHS Harlow Carr 60th Anniversary Biodiversity bed to encourage more variety of insects
  • Harrogate Borough Council, Valley Gardens, Harrogate behind the bandstand
    Annual and Perennial wildflower planting to provide nectar and pollen for pollinating insects
  • Harrogate Borough Council, Valley Gardens Nectar Bar
    Designed by Paul Hervey-Brooks RHS Chelsea Flower Show designer specifically to encourage pollinating insects. Insect hotels were also added to create habitats for insects, willow insect sculptures enhance the design. Planting includes sedums, geraniums, salvias and anthemis
  • Friends of Rossett Nature Reserve, Rossett Nature Reserve
    Wildflower meadows and pond areas with newts. This group has regular working parties to ensure the area is maintained in a manner suitable to encourage biodiversity
  • Friends of Bachelors Field, Bachelors Field, Harrogate
    Pond area, tree plantings and wildflower area to encourage a range of insects, birds and mammals to the area
  • Pinewoods Conservation Group, Pinewoods Woodland, Harrogate
    Wildflower meadow (increasing nectar), tree planting, bird and bat boxes
  • Harrogate Borough Council, Bilton Fields and Horseshoe Fields, Harrogate
    Grass mowing to allow for longer length to enable development of a variety of species
  • Harrogate Borough Council
    Bilton Triangle and Luchon Way Native tree planting, such as rowan, oak, holly, alder, hazel and birch
  • Harrogate in Bloom, St Peters Church, Harrogate
    Specific planting for pollinators with long seasonal flowering. Including euphorbia, phlomis and allium
  • Harrogate Borough Council
    Crocuses are planted annually on The Stray along with wildflower plugs. Some areas are also left to grow for the benefit of bees, pollinators and other wildlife
  • Harrogate and District Biodiversity Action Group, Ebor Rise, top of Valley Gardens, Harrogate
    Wildflower plug plants planting, also the production of leaflets relating to encouraging wildlife on allotments. Interpretation boards installed also
  • Starbeck in Bloom, Belmont Field
    Improvements to Addyman's wood with whip planting, changing grass cutting frequency, installation of bird boxes and an owl box
  • Starbeck in Bloom, Spa Mews
    Improvements to the stream area with native planting and installation of bird boxes
  • Starbeck in Bloom, Belmont Field
    Two old roses beds were converted into biodiversity beds, adding insect hotels for habitats. Planting includes geraniums, heleniums, erigerons, salvias, hellebores stachys, alliums and spring bulbs

Knaresborough area

  • Friends of Aspin Pond, Aspin Pond, Knaresborough
    There are two wildflower areas, one within the fenced pond area (with a bug hotel, bird boxes and newt pond) and another wildflower area adjacent to Aspin Pond
  • Friends of Jacob Smith Park, Jacob Smith Park, Scriven
    Tree planting (native species), maintenance of heritage trees, installed bird boxes, amended mowing regimes

Pateley Bridge area

  • Friends of Pateley Bridge Cemetery and Church Yard, Cemetery and Church Yard
    Installation of bird and bat boxes, providing a safe haven for all wildlife

Ripon area

  • Ripon in Bloom, Goose Common
    Wildflower meadows (including corn chamomile, cornflower, poppy and corn cockle) to increase nectar for pollinating insects in the area, installation of bird boxes
  • Ripon in Bloom, Temple Garden
    Planting of nectar rich flowering plants (clematis), creation of wildlife habitats and planting of spring flowering bulbs
  • Ripon in Bloom, Bedern Bank
    Removal of grass which has been replaced with nectar rich pollinator friendly shrubs (including lavendar, buddleia and sedum) etc
  • Harrogate Borough Council, Ure Bank
    Trackside management for disused railway line, relating to grass mowing regime, tree planting
  • Harrogate Borough Council, Quarry Moor
    Maintenance of natural open space, wildflower meadows and diverse native tree planting and maintenance
  • Harrogate Borough Council, Little Studley Meadows
    Grass cutting regime to create natural habitats

You can find out more about biodiversity by contacting the Harrogate and district biodiversity action group.