Friday, 16 August 2013

Rapid progress at Hilgay

 Nick Carter, Conservation Officer (Fens)
Perimeter ditch inlet
As reported previously on this blog Fen Group has returned to Hilgay to finish off the construction work for the wetland creation site. Progress, in the dry conditions, has been rapid and they are close to finishing off the abstraction system from the River Wissey into perimeter ditch (see photo) and storage lagoon. The 400mm pipe will allow us to abstract quickly when river levels are high during the winter to help wet up the 

Reed planting cages
 Getting water onto the site will enable the reed plugs that will be planted soon to thrive and establish before the winter sets in. As the site is regularly used by feral geese (Canada, Egyptian and Greylag) we are having to fence the plots where the reed plugs will be planted to discourage grazing. The fencing is a major task with over 150 22x3m plots being established, under Adam Pimble’s supervision.The aim then is to plant 40,000 reed plugs using professional planters with further plugs being planted by corporate volunteers from Environment Agency and Atkins.The work will take about a month and then the planting will move onto a site near Hickling.

Y Junction, meters & penstocks
The plug planting will speed up the natural colonisation of the site which is already happening in some of the wetter areas. It will add to the planting that occurred in 2012 by a Watch group and the reed rhizomes that were shown in an earlier blog growing in the storage lagoon.

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