20 January 2011

Monster Digger Helps Newts on Nature Reserve

Froglife is kicking off a five year pond restoration project on Hampton Nature Reserve in a BIG way by inviting a 20 tonne digger with an 18 metre reach to get stuck in! The project will help bolster the critically endangered bearded stonewort population, and also create early successional habitat for invertebrates and other plants.

Hampton Nature Reserve, on the outskirts of Peterborough, is a unique landscape of over 300 ponds created by clay mining. Since the industry moved away and stopped replenishing the supply of new ponds, the site is slowly drying out by the natural process of succession – without management it would eventually be lost completely…

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to knock back succession, dredge out all the sludge, and give all those ponds a new lease of life,” said Paul Furnborough, Conservation Officer. “This work is heavy going for volunteers and on a 145 hectare site just isn’t viable – we need diggers and, because of the special ridge and furrow terrain, we need big ones”.

Froglife have secured five years of funding from Natural England to put in place a site-wide pond restoration programme to restore bearded stonewort to a favourable condition; this year the funding is being matched by Peterborough City Council. Management of this project is being informed by our recently completed Second Life for Ponds project, funded by SITA. Results from the project advise on how frequently and extensively to restore ponds for stoneworts whilst considering the effect of restoration on a whole range of species present, from our famous great crested newts to tiny water beetles. Froglife will be publishing the project report and advice sheets shortly.

You can find out more about Hampton Nature Reserve, and how to help us manage the site here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant well done the Froglife team