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Concerns raised for wildlife after weeds removed from West Norfolk village pond

Residents have raised concerns for wildlife in a West Norfolk village, in a location where there is planning permission for 10 self-build homes.

Villagers in Ingoldisthorpe have said they have recently seen New Zealand Pigmyweed being removed from the pond on land close to Hill Road and Lynn Road, prompting their concerns for the wildlife in that area.

The residents, who wished to remain anonymous, said they are particularly concerned as a biodiversity management plan associated with the development states that the weed would be removed in November.

Ingoldisthorpe pond, after residents say New Zealand Pigmyweed was removed. Picture: SUBMITTED. (36406513)
Ingoldisthorpe pond, after residents say New Zealand Pigmyweed was removed. Picture: SUBMITTED. (36406513)

Although the plan states that physical removal of the weed can be undertaken at any time of the year, it adds: “The physical removal will be undertaken in November in order to minimise the potential for adverse impacts on biodiversity including other plants, nesting birds, amphibians and invertebrates.”

The residents said: “The pond is a natural pond which has been there for donkey’s years, it’s mentioned in the Domesday Book.”

Among the wildlife that has been spotted at the pond includes oystercatchers, morhens, frogs, and newts.

The residents said: “It’s a haven for wildlife when it’s been left untouched.”

They added: “All in all, we just want to try and protect the wildlife that has been the heart of the village for years and years.”

But landowner Ben Marten said the New Zealand Pigmyweed had been removed when the water in the pond had dried up.

“New Zealand Pigmyweed is extremely invasive which was completely suffocating the land,” he added.

“Before any work was started, obviously it’s been the driest patch in a generation, so there was no water.”

Mr Marten said there had been no nesting birds at the pond, due to the lack of water, when the work to remove the weeds was undertaken.

“We took that opportunity to remove it,” he added.

“There’s a big focus on not only returning that area to what it was, but enhancing it.”

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