£50,000 pond restoration at Downham Market nature reserve

Norfolk Wildlife Services has been advising the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council on a £50,000 pond restoration project at the Willows Nature Reserve in Downham Market.

The Willows Nature Reserve County Wildlife Site is a fantastic area, adjacent to the pond restoration project area, with thick stands of common reed and bulrush. In 2007, water vole presence within the reedbed was discovered, showing the importance of this small site to fenland wildlife.

Working closely with the Borough Council, we have arrived at a plan, which will restore the pond by removing build up of silt, but not impact on existing wildlife such as reedbeds and water voles. The Fen Group, who have worked with us on a number of other projects, will be undertaking the desilting work under our method statement.  Further drainage work and pipework repairs in the nature reserve will also bring in rainwater and surface water from the reed bed and regulate the new levels within the pond.

Silt will often build up within old ponds and may require removal mechanically. However the silt needs a considerable area to put it in, meaning that area will be buried under nutrient rich slops. As such it needs to be made sure in pond restoration, that in restoring one habitat another isn’t destroyed. In this case, we were able to find an ideal location for a temporary bund to allow the silt to settle out.

Work has commenced and we look forward to seeing the results this summer with abundant fish and invertebrates.

You can read more about it on LynnNews.co.uk

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