A walk along the river, starting at Conigre Mead Nature Reserve (owned by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust), reveals a rich habitat for many kinds of wildlife. In spite of the traffic noise, many people as well as the wildlife find it a peaceful place to spend an hour or two.
The shrubs and trees provide food and shelter for birds and animals. 83 species of birds have been recorded along the river where it flows through the town, and many of them breed here. One of the first sightings of Little Egret in Wiltshire was on the shallow areas along the banks of the river in the Nature Reserve. Here too migrating wading birds, such as the Common Sandpiper stop off on their way. Kingfishers are often seen, and there are plenty of ducks, moorhens and coots. Deer and foxes are occasionally seen too.
Volunteers, including many schoolchildren, have worked hard to make the reserve a haven for small mammals such as voles and wood mice and in the summer there are banks of wild flowers.Â Shrubs and trees have been planted.
Some ponds have been made and have proved a valuable habitat. Butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies fly in the sunny days and some are still around in November on warm days.
The reserve is full of insects, and provides food for many species.
Bats fly around the trees and along the river on summer nights.
Water voles have been absent for a few years, but have made a welcome return to the brook which passes under the Millennium bridge.