A Surprising Dog Walk around Aylestone Meadows Leicestershire


Mile Walk

Dog Walks around Aylestone Meadows Leicester City Centre Hidden Countryside. The Riverside Park is a haven for all walkers not just dog walkers, and with numerous paths throughout the meadows and beside the waterways, there are many different routes to try.

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Aylestone Road
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This surprising dog walk is tucked away behind the busy A426 Aylestone Road, the only clue that it is there is a small sign on the lamp post pointing down to the narrow drive. Turning down the drive you cross the ancient pack-horse bridge and beyond lays the hidden peace and tranquillity of Leicester’s Riverside Park. You cross over the Grand Union Canal and Towpath, entering into the large free car park. This dog walk also incorporates the Great Central Way cycle, which is used by many travelling through to Leicester city and multiple walking tracks through to the Rivers Biam and Soar and across the Aylestone Meadows. This green wedged on either side of the river provides the city’s richest wildlife habitats and gives stressed city dwellers a piece of the country within the city boundary.

The Riverside Park is a haven for all walkers not just dog walkers, and with numerous paths throughout the meadows and beside the waterways, there are many different routes to try. An escape from the busy city of Leicester, this dog walk provides space to walk an space to think.

Once parked you can join one of the paths that leads into flower-rich meadows, Alystone meadow is used by lots of different people from the local community it even has its own herd of long-horn cattle owned by the City of Leicester. The nearby paddocks are grazed by horses and the equestrian community can often be seen enjoying riding along the Great Central Way, if you do see a horse and rider please keep your dog under control to avoid any accidents. The river and canal are teeming with fish and at certain times of year it provides excellent fishing. 

This dog walk attracts a very wide range of wildlife as there are two main types of habitat, one area is managed as grassland and the other is wetland. These natural lush open spaces provide all kinds of water fowl and other birds a place to nest, food to eat and importantly somewhere to rear young. In the Spinney at the Southern end of the Great Central Way you can see Woodpeckers. Birds of prey can be seen hovering over the meadows, and in the summer, Swallows, Swifts and Martins swoop over the meadows catching unsuspecting flying insects. The most flowers, providing nectar are seen in early summer and these attract a host of butterflies and insects. In the wetlands frogs and toads fill the ponds in the spring, and if you are lucky, you might see a harmless grass snake. Those who dog walk at dusk or dawn might catch quick glimpse a fox, looking for an easy meal. 

The Riverside Park is managed by Leicester City Council. This is a huge task which is undertaken with full time staff and volunteers. When out walking around the paths and meadows, please respect this gem and use the bins provided, picking up after your dog and yourselves, great care is taken to maintain this space. A local voluntary group is Aylestone Meadows Appreciation Society (AMAS), whose purpose is to promote the use of the Meadows by all, to enhance and maintain the habitats and contribute towards the creation of a pleasant, safe, clean and peaceful environment for all users.

There were proposed plans by Leicester City Council to level an area within the Aylestone Meadows to make way for a whole new sports facility, these plans were objected to and were defeated earlier this year, March 2011 when the Planning Committee rejected the plans. These plans were defeated because of  many groups including Aylestone Meadows Appreciation Society, Leicester Friends of the Earth, Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust, The Leicester Civic Society and The Campaign for Rural England all worked together and rallied support against the plans. It was the first time that an E-Petition on Leicester City Council's website had ever been used. A great dog walk, enjoy!


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