Sunnydale Park was designated as a Local Wildlife Site (DE034) in 1990 and declared as a Local Nature Reserve in April 2005.
The 13.2-hectare site consists of a variety of habitats: semi-natural woodland, grassland including semi-natural and amenity grassland, one large and one small pond with associated vegetation, a stream and hedgerows.
The site supports at least 9 species of butterfly, 4 species of dragonfly and 3 of damselfly. Many of these insects can be found near the balancing pond. The site is also home to a successful population of bats.
Bird records include species on the Birds of Conservation Concern red list namely song thrush, redwing and house sparrow. On the amber list are bullfinch, dunnock, swift, mallard, redwing, kingfisher, mute swan and black-headed gull.
The steam and pond is the home to the common toad, common frog and three-spined stickleback in the main pond. Friends of Littleover Parks hold regular pond dipping sessions for all to enjoy and have a go at.
Undertaken in 2021, the Cuttle Brook flood alleviation scheme aims to reduce the flood risk to local residents, whilst at the same time providing an opportunity to improve and increase biodiversity in the area.
The creation of the wetland habitat is considered a high priority for improving biodiversity and residents will see plant species such as Water Mint, Yellow Flag Iris and Lesser Pond Sedge appear. Animal species that will call the area home include Shrews, Frogs and Toads and bird species like the Reed Warbler.
In the new lowland meadow area flowering plants such as Meadow Buttercup, Yarrow and Cowslip will be planted alongside other meadow species. These species are particularly important for pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies.
The Scheme is being funded by DRA Flood Defence Grant In Aid, Local Levy, European Regional Development Fund and Derby City Council Capital EFbudget.