In reply to Nick Lawrence, contractors will soon be moving on site at The Willows Nature Reserve, Downham Market, to desilt the pond and undertake additional drainage work.
The work will include tree coppicing, restocking the pond with fish and bringing the area back into use, while implementing measures that will ensure the area’s future management and protect sensitive natural habitats.
As my colleague Cllr David Pope has explained in a recent news release (from whence these details are derived) many parties are involved in this project and we have to ensure that whatever solution is put forward, it has to satisfy the Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Board and Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
The first thing that had to be achieved was an ecological survey, which has identified a way forward that will bring this valued resource back into full use.
The project, which is set to cost £50,000, will start with the desilting. This will require the area to be closed to the public with effect from February 9.
Fencing will be erected and anyone using the Nature Reserve as a short cut will need to find an alternative route.
The removed silt material will be spread around the site using a methodology agreed with the Environment Agency. While this work is proceeding, tree works will also be undertaken to reduce the leaf fall into the pond.
Drainage work will also be undertaken to repair pipework to bring in rainwater from the reed bed and to accommodate new levels within the pond.
When these works are complete, the pond will be refilled (subject to water levels in the existing water courses being high enough) and thereafter be restocked with fish by King’s Lynn Angling Association. Existing footpaths will be reinstated and public access restored.
These extensive works will take around two weeks and must be completed by February 28 to avoid the nesting season.
I salute the work that has already been carried out by Cllr Pope and Cllr Mellish, and our officers, to ensure this project is properly prepared and will once again be a fantastic and well managed asset to Downham Market residents.
I hope Mr Lawrence is suitably assured that Conservative councillors representing all parts of the Borough of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk are doing so on behalf of the people they represent.
I recommend that Mr Lawrence finds time to read PR 2536, from the Borough Council Press Office where a fuller explanation is available.
Conservative Councillor South Downham Ward