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Dragon Finder

River Nene

Boardwalks LNR

Boardwalks nature reserve is a mosaic of habitats of which includes numerous ponds, wet woodland, tussocky grassland, marsh and scrubland. The site runs along the River Nene and has a Boardwalk through the site allowing the public to walk through the wetter parts of the site. Due to the process of natural succession, many of the ponds are in need of management. Many of the ponds have become extremely shaded and choked full of high nutrient leaf fall. This reduces the quality of the ponds for many types of aquatic vegetation and the local amphibian species.

 

Some ponds had become totally Boardwalks LNR Pictures (8)colonised by reeds, resulting in no open water for amphibians to breed. The first batch of works started in February 2015 and removed the large shading willow trees to allow more sunlight to reach the ponds. The wood and brash were kept on site and used in the creation of hibernaculas for hibernating amphibians and reptiles.

 

The works were completed just before the amphibian and bird breeding season to cause as little disturbance to these species as possible. Using a large excavator, the silt from the ponds was removed and depositeBoardwalks LNR Pictures (78)d away from the ponds. By allowing sunlight to reach the pond and removing the high nutrient leaf fall, the overall quality of the pond has been increased.

 

Froglife created three new ponds in grassland just north of Boardwalks known as Thorpe Meadows. These new pond creations will create a valuable new habitat as these ponds will not be subjected to flooding or high amounts of leaf fall. This will mean they will remain low in nutrients and much more valuable to a different range of species. These ponds will be left for around a month to determine whether they will need lining or not by monitoring the water levels. If the water levels remain low the ponds will be lined with a sodium bentonite liner.

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Over the next few months Froglife will conduct amphibian surveys at Boardwalks LNR to determine how successful the pond restoration works have been. These surveys will determine which amphibian species are present and train local volunteers, residents and rangers in regards to amphibian surveys and identification.

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It was found to be necessary to line the three newly created meadow ponds, this work was completed in April 2015.

Further information about Boardwalks & Thorpe Meadows Nature Reserve can be found here