AMAS is normally active throughout each year with regular monthly activities and occasional one off events. During COVID restrictions our events have been less regular although we have kept our main activities going:
Litter: We hate it! In recent years we have joined with Leicester Environmental Volunteers to do monthly litterpicks on Aylestone Meadows. LEV’s activities have scaled down in 2020 but AMAS members have been out in small groups litter picking. Members receive information about litter picking on a regular basis and unfortunately we require people to book in advance so that we are COVID compliant.
Conservation tasks: This is a big part of our commitment to the Meadows. Our members join with LEV (Leicester Environmental Volunteers (run by Leicester City Council) to carry out a range of tasks across the Meadows and on Aylestone Playing fields.
AMAS’s own conservation activities are still happening and members receive invitations to attend.
AMAS is active behind the scenes:
Aylestone Meadows Management Plan We have made positive contributions to the City Council’s management plan for Aylestone Meadows and we are in regular consultation with them over management issues which arise.
Tip Top Meadow We have been working closely with City Council to transform a derelict play area on high ground near to Pebble Beach and turn it into a wildflower meadow. We have sowed seeds and planted plugs over two winters and are now seeing the beginnings of a diverse wildflower meadow which attracts a wide range of pollinating insects. The work is ongoing and the area is being landscaped in a naturalistic way by city council to further enhance the area.
Himalayan Balsam We are committed to keeping the canal towpath between Marsden Lane and Mill Lock clear of Himalayan Balsam
Lupin Hill We do regular bramble clearance on ‘Lupin Hill’ to make way for wildflowers and ‘escaped’ garden lupins. Our actions have made a HUGE difference to this area, which was once totally colonised by dense brambles.
Guided Walks In recent years we have held regular guided walks, including a birdsong walk, a tour of the meadows for attenders at our picnic and various wild food walks, all led by various supporters and members.
Facebook and photos Our Facebook page is always very active and we have some wonderful photographs taken by friends and members. These were so good that we had competitions to vote for photos for online calendars for 2019 and 2020. There are always lively discussions on our Facebook page and information about activities can usually be found there also.
Socials Our community picnics, apple days and other get-togethers have been great fun. Our Christmas meal is always a highlight. All our events are sociable and friendly – come and join us.
All members and friends are welcome on our activities, subject to compliance with COVID restrictions. Group numbers are limited and advance booking is essential. LEV activities require you to join Leicester Environmental Volunteers first.
For an up-to-date list of forthcoming events, please refer to the Events section of the AMAS Facebook group.
AMAS has a history as a campaigning organisation. In 2011 we fought a long, hard and ultimately successful campaign against plans to build a large-scale football development on the Nature Reserve. We were at the forefront of a coalition of organisations who joined together to oppose this totally inappropriate planning application which eventually went ahead on a nearby less sensitive site. We have opposed a number of other planning applications, with various levels of success. For example, we successfully opposed plans to fell two mature horse chestnut trees at the entrance to the Local Nature Reserve on Marsden Lane. In 2016 we successfully lobbied the Council to carry out repairs to the Mediaeval Packhorse Bridge. AMAS has joined with the ‘End of the Road Campaign’ to try to ensure that no future link road may be built between Narborough Road and Aylestone Road. AMAS has signed up to the Woodland Trust’s “Tree Charter”, recognising the importance of trees for our landscape, environment and the wildlife they support. We lobbied the City Council to provide improved disabled access facilities onto the Great Central Way, culminating in the opening of a new access ramp in June 2021. We are working with the Council to tackle anti-social behaviour and vandalism on the Meadows. Our lobbying activities are ongoing; we are in touch with local councillors, police, city council officers and the City Mayor, ensuring that Aylestone Meadows retains a high profile and that the importance of the site is not lost on the City Council.