Thursday, 13 March 2014

Power turned on at Hilgay

 Nick Carter, Conservation Officer (Fens)

With the recent spell of dry weather work has re-commenced at the Hilgay Wetland Creation site. This has enabled Fen Group to place the concrete top onto the pump chamber which in turn has resulted in Panks Pumps, an NWT Investor in Wildlife corporate member, then being able to install the pump. 

Reshaping near pump inlet, photo by Nick Carter
This pumps water from the ditch network back into the storage lagoon so that it can be recirculated around the site. Installation of the pump has involved a new transformer being installed by UK Power Networks, also a corporate member, and a cable being laid across the site and a pump chamber being buried next to the storage lagoon by Fen Group. The pump was switched on and water was pumped into the lagoon, on 11 March but a minor fault in the control panel meant it had to be turned off again. Very frustrating! Panks were back the next day and fixed the fault and the pump was fully operational. The pump can move an incredible 100 litres every second which means it could empty an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than 7 hours!  Another major milestone in the development of the site had been achieved. With the pump working we will start to abstract water from the river next week to start to wet up the site further.
Water coming through lagoon inlet, photo by David Price
Also on site at the moment are Beatbush Fencing who are completing the installation of fencing and gates across the site to enable the site to be grazed. In particular it is important to keep the grass short on the perimeter banks to ensure any faults can be quickly spotted and to deter animals such as badgers from digging holes and weakening the banks.

Another significant milestone has been the submission of the planning application for change of land use from agriculture to nature conservation for the neighbouring Methwold Wetland Creation site. We should get a decision in mid-June.

In the warm weather, although winter visitors such as jack snipe, fieldfare and redwing are still on site, some species, including shelduck, have been displaying while one brood of Egyptian geese has already been seen. We await the imminent return of little ringed plover, sand martin, nightingale and warblers; let’s hope we don’t get a sudden cold spell.

1 comment:

  1. Very good and simple post which makes us understand the content,power fencing is very thankful for your effort.