Wildlife & environment

The Green Park site was once an area of low-lying, poor quality agricultural land, lying in the flood plain of the River Kennet. In its development, we have created a wide range of natural habitats which support a diverse variety of birds, animal and wildlife.

The focal point of the Green Park landscape is Longwater, originally a man-made channel built to act as flood alleviation but which, through connection to the River Kennet by existing water courses, has become a living lake and thus rapidly colonised by fish. It snakes through the park to a length of 1.25 km and an average width of 80m with approximately 30% of it planted with some form of aquatic plants including native yellow flowered water lily.

As part of the landscaping programme, more than 2,500 mature trees are being planted to add to the existing 500. Among the main species are Crack Willow, Ash, Alder, Grey Poplar and Field Maple.

The development of Green Park has not only helped to preserve existing wildlife but also to encourage new species to move to the site. Longwater is the main attraction and with the arrival of fish, including carp and small pike, herons have become regular visitors, along with sparrowhawks, peregrine falcons and kingfishers. We also recorded the first ever sighting of an egret in the Reading area.