Parks and Countryside newsletter

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Parks and Countryside [Spring/Summer]

We hope you enjoy reading this bumper summer edition of our newsletter.


  • Love Parks Week

  • Heath Week

  • Family fun at The Look Out

  • Big Butterfly Count 2021

  • Exciting new improvements

  • Fabulous flora!

  • Are you tick aware?

  • Water safety advice

Love Parks Week (23 July - 1 August)

Love Parks Week


Love Parks Week is a national celebration of parks and green spaces that starts today.

We have listed some fun outdoor activities you might like to try out in your own time, to celebrate and enjoy our local parks:

Lily Hill Park

The event, which is run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, also encourages people to respect their local parks.

Respect, protect and enjoy!

When visiting local green spaces, please follow the Countryside Code.

Take your litter home if the bins are full, or even better, recycle your bottles and cans.

Hot and dry weather conditions increases the risk of wildfires. Make sure you follow fire safety tips, such as extinguishing cigarettes properly and only using barbecues in designated areas. Further advice is available from The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Please stay safe and give people space.

How to respect parks

Heath Week (24 - 30 July)

Heath Week (24-30 July)
Heathland with heather in foreground

Heath Week starts tomorrow, and there are lots of free, family-friendly events you can take part in across Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.

Events include a photography competition, artworks trail, wildfire roadshow, wildlife talks and walks, scavenger hunts and more! 

A full list of events is available from the Thames Basin Heaths Partnership.

Join in and celebrate a precious wilderness that’s home to very special wildlife.

Family fun at The Look Out

Water dispenser at The Look Out

The Look Out Discovery Centre is open during the summer holidays for pre-booked timed sessions for the indoor science exhibition.
Spaces are also available until 5 September for daily outdoor Bugs and Beasties workshops.

A free water bottle refilling machine is now available outside next to the coffee shop takeaway hatch. Since it was installed, just over five weeks ago, it has eliminated over 4,000 single-use bottles from entering landfill or the ocean!

Big Butterfly Count 2021

Gatekeeper butterfly, by Rob Solomon

There's still time for you to take part in the Big Butterfly Count, which runs until 8 August.

This annual event, which is run by Butterfly Conservation, is an opportunity for everyone to become a citizen scientist and help build up a picture of how beautiful butterflies are faring.

Full instructions about how to take part are available on their website.

Exciting new improvements

We have been busy carrying out improvements to local parks and open spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Giant new picnic table at Lily Hill Park

A new giant sized community picnic table has been officially opened at Lily Hill Park in Bracknell. 

The table, which is made from the timber of a chestnut tree, is a whopping 19.8 metres (65 feet) long!

New interpretation panel at Rachels' Lake

A new site noticeboard and a wildlife-themed interpretation panel is now available at Harvest Hill in Warfield.

Clinton's Hill new path and signs

A new pathway into Clinton's Hill (near Lily Hill Park), provides better access for residents.

New wildflower patch at Evenlode Way

Our new wildflower meadow patch at Evenlode Way playground and green space in Sandhurst, is coming along beautifully. 

The flowers are providing a nectar food source for our important pollinator species, such as bees and butterflies.

Fabulous flora!

Common spotted-orchid

Common spotted-orchid

These lovely photos of wild orchids were taken by our Ranger Alex on his evening walk in Bracknell.

He spotted four species, including common spotted-orchid, bee orchid, pyramidal orchid and common twayblade.

There has also been sightings in the borough of south-marsh orchids, early-purple orchids and broad-leaved helleborine.


Bee orchid

Bee orchid

There are many different species of orchid in the UK, and they can be found in a range of habitats, including wildflower meadows, woodland, road verges, sand dunes and even disused quarries.

Orchids, are legally protected from intentionally uprooting any wild plant without authorisation. They are best enjoyed in their natural setting, where others can appreciate their beauty and they can thrive alongside the wildlife that depends on them.

Are you tick aware?

Tick sizes in comparison to a one pence coin

A tick is a tiny spider-like creature that lives on animals such as sheep or deer.

The main tick feeding season is late spring, early summer and autumn, when they can bite if you are walking through an area where they are present. Ticks can also be carried home by pets and dogs.

Some ticks can pass on the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.

Senior scientist at Public Health England, Maaike Pietzsch, explains how to avoid being bitten by a tick when out in the natural environment, what to do if you have been bitten and how to remove them. Watch the video.

Water safety advice

Open water swimming is a great way to exercise, but you must be aware of potential dangers and swim safely.
You should only ever swim in dedicated swimming areas.
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service have some great water safety advice that you should follow.

Safe summer

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