Ledbury Halt Wildlife Garden

Why Ledbury Halt? Because this is where the town halt was on the GWR line (the building is now Shane Howells workshop).

It’s a long story…….but after many conversations, and support from Ledbury Naturalists, a ‘license to cultivate’ was granted to Ledbury Town Council to allow us to manage a strip of land we call Ledbury Halt Wildlife Garden (aka LHWG).

Our vision for the ‘garden’ is cultivate it to increase biodiversity, and to create a demonstration plot to engage Ledbury’s community, thereby raising awareness of how we can increase biodiversity in our private gardens. In Britain these cover over 660,000 acres and could foster wildlife if we were less tidy, stopped using ‘chemicals’, used peat alternatives and planted wildlife-useful plants. This would help link green spaces in towns and urban areas together, and with nature reserves and the wider countryside.

Ledbury Halt is very much a work in progress, as we strive towards improving it and transforming it from ‘looking messy’ to organised chaos, into a wildlife haven! Grass is vital for many invertebrates, and other species, so we will not be eliminating it, but copious yellow rattle seed has been sown that we expect to stunt it to let other plants flourish.

We have planted a lot of both native and non-native species, all with wildlife value; we have built habitat piles/compost bins; cut back brambles, where needed; snipped, weeded, chopped, dug, swept, got wet, hot and engaged with passers by.


We entered the LHWG in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ section of Heart of England in Bloom and were placed in the Level 2 ‘improving’ category after one season’s effort.
Pupils were invited from Ledbury Primary School to help plant, to help site a hedgehog house and to take part in some environmental activities. They enjoyed it very much, and most said they “wished they could do more of this at school”. We hope we can continue the connection we have made with them. As Sir David Attenborough says: “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”.

We held a public mini-bioblitz in August 2022, and Tim Kaye, from Hidden Herefordshire came to give support in identifying many of the species; a list is attached below. We aim to repeat this in spring 2023, and to reproduce the survey in private gardens in Ledbury as and when we can.

This is but a snapshot of LHWG that takes time and people-power, so if you’d like to come along on any second Wednesday of the month, we would be very glad to see you (you don’t need to be a Ledbury Naturalists’ member as this is primarily a community-based project). Just turn up or contact us via Facebook Biodiversity for Ledbury; or email Ledbury Naturalists at admin@ledburynaturalists.co.uk and they will pass on your enquiry. Our ambition is to develop more projects to help increase biodiversity in Ledbury. It is a win-win endeavour in which all can participate.

Achillea millefolium Yarrow
Alcea rosea Hollyhock
Anchusa arvensis Bugloss
Anchusa officinalis Alkanet
Aster novi-belgii x lanceolatus = A. x salignus Common Michaelmas-daisy
Betula pendula Silver birch
Buddleia davidii Butterfly-bush
Calystegia sepium                           Hedge bindweed
Centaurea nigra subsp. nigra Common knapweed
Chaerophyllum temulum Rough chervil
Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay willowherb
Chelidonium majus Greater celandine
Cirsium palustre Marsh thistle
Cirsium vulgare  Spear thistle
Corylus avellana Hazel
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn
Daucus carota Wild carrot
Dipsacus fullonum Wild teasel
Epilobium hirsutum Great willowherb
Fraxinus excelsior Ash
Galium aparine Cleavers
Hedera helix Ivy
Humulus lupulus Hop
Iris foetidissima Stinking iris
Lamium album White deadnettle
Lamium purpureum Red deadnettle
Lapsana communis Nipplewort
Leucanthemum vulgare Oxeye daisy
Malva sylvestris Common mallow
Melissa officinalis Balm
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Common iceplant
Mycelis muralis Wall Lettuce
Nigella damascena Love-in-a-mist
Picris echioides Bristly oxtongue
Rhinanthus minor Yellow-rattle
Ribes nigrum Blackcurrant
Rubus fruticosus agg. Bramble
Rumex obtusifolius Broad-leaved dock
Salvia verbenaca Wild clary
Sambucus nigra Elder
Scorzoneroides autumnalis Autumn hawkbit
Senecio vulgaris Groundsel
Silene dioica Red campion
Sonchus oleraceus Smooth sow-thistle
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan
Stachys sylvatica Hedge woundwort
Tanacetum vulgare Tansy
Taraxacum officinale agg. Dandelion
Urtica dioica Common nettle
Verbena bonariensis Argentinian vervain
True bugs
Anthocoris nemorum Common flower bug
Dolycoris baccarum Hairy shield bug
Eurydema (Eurydema) oleracea Cabbage bug
Himacerus (Aptus) mirmicoides Ant damsel bug
Liocoris tripustulatus
Rhopalus (Rhopalus) subrufus
Tuberolachnus (Tuberolachnus) salignus  Large willow aphid
Bees wasps and ants
Apis mellifera Western honey bee
Bombus pascuorum Common carder bee
Bombus terrestris Buff-tailed bumblebee
Colletes hederae Ivy bee
Vespula vulgaris                Common wasp
Araneus diadematus                                      Garden orb-web spider
Nigma walckenaeri
Arge rustica
Chlorops scalaris
Eristalis tenax
Eupeodes luniger
Lucilia caesar Common greenbottle
Grasshoppers and allies               
Chorthippus brunneus Field grasshopper
Forficula auricularia Common earwig
Chrysoperla carnea group
Phyllotreta cruciferae Turnip flea beetle
Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata 22-spot ladybird
Pterostichus madidus Black clock
Butterflies and moths
Pieris brassicae Large white
Vanessa atalanta Red admiral
Cepaea (Cepaea) hortensis White-lipped snail
Cornu aspersum Common garden snail
Columba palumbus Wood pigeon
Corvus corone Carrion crow
Erithacus rubecula Robin
Passer domesticus House sparrow