What we’ve been up to:
During the months of October to December, Froglife completed the creation of four ponds and restoration of an Oxbow lake that vegetation had overtaken. At the end of October and the first week of November a volunteer group from company GE intelligent platforms and a local green group helped with the removal of the willow from alongside the Oxbow lake.
Two test ponds and a test scrape were created by the willing volunteers to ascertain ground composition and water levels.
Two proud volunteers alongside one of the test ponds holding water well due to the heavy amounts of clay present.
Digger work began on the 09th December once the ground preparation had been completed. One of the test ponds was extended and deepened and a long drawdown zone created.
The pond was full of water within three days.
Work then commenced on a larger second pond that was dug out with the digger over two days. After two days the pond had filled quite dramatically and appeared to be retaining water aided by the thick clay sides.
Gaz the digger driver inspecting his handy work!
The Oxbow lake was heavily vegetated and no water was visible from either side. The top layer of vegetation was scraped out by the digger and the original shape of the Oxbow reinstated.
A graduated bank was created to aid biodiversity and give a more natural shape to the Oxbow.
Once the work on the Oxbow had been completed all of the surrounding areas were smoothed out with the digger and all the spoil evenly spread over the site. The digger work was completed on December the 20th leaving the site with four new ponds and a reinstated Oxbow lake.
If you are interested in reading in more depth about the work detailed above please click here for the full report:
The project area for this SITA Trust funded project is a public owned flood meadow divided by the River Tove in Northamptonshire that includes an old ox-bow lake surrounded by wetland vegetation and abundant ruderal plant growth. This is bounded by a former railway embankment, which is covered by mature oak and ash and to the south by the river banks which provide good connectivity and are covered with abundant wetland vegetation and occasional scrub. There are interesting records of plants, terrestrial invertebrates and reptiles. However, the area is gradually becoming overgrown by the more virulent plant species and valuable habitats are currently being lost and becoming inaccessible to visitors. Following consultations with local volunteers, initial botanical surveys and several town council meetings this project intends to undertake significant habitat creation and restoration at the site, focusing on aquatic habitats. The ox-bow is currently partly dried-up and needs significant tree and scrub removal, partial desilting with a digger and restoration. Two new wildlife ponds will dramatically increase the amount of standing freshwater habitat and will encourage more species colonisation, especially amphibians, wetland plants and dragonflies. In addition this project will include surveys and training targeted at the large local volunteers group and rangers on survey techniques and habitat management to ensure long term sustainability in future years. The project was made possible with the support and contribution from the Towcester local council. For more information contact INFO@froglife.org