Work on three ponds in Northumberland – East Cramlington Pond, Newsham Pond and Holywell Pond – is set to begin thanks to two cash donations from the Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council ‘s Green Infrastructure Fund.
The funds will allow Northumberland Wildlife Trust to undertake work on the three sites.
At Holywell Pond, to the north of Holywell Village, volunteers have taken steps to protect and extend the island which was eroding on one side, using recycled plastic materials, several tonnes of stone and topped-off with weed membrane and pea gravel. This conservation work has created better nesting conditions and will hopefully encourage a return to the island of birds such as common terns and oystercatchers.
Overgrown vegetation has been removed from the site – in particular willow scrub from the reed bed area to prevent loss of this valuable habitat. A range of native shrub and tree species have also been planted to diversity the woodland areas.
A lot of work has been undertaken at Newsham Pond a small site at the edge of Blyth, with staff and volunteers coppicing willow trees on the pond’s edge to allow more light into the pond thereby creating a better habitat for its resident frogs, toads and newts and improved nesting for birds; a number of shrubs have also been planted to diversify this reserve.
At East Cramlington Pond, which lies between East Cramlington and Seaton Delaval, steps have been taken to control overgrown vegetation with the removal of a number of invasive non-native tree including sycamore, spruce and Norway maple and, as with Newsham Pond, the willows on pond’s edge have been coppiced to create improved nesting for birds and better conditions for pond life.
A 16-metre boardwalk and a new seat have been installed overlooking the pond offering visitors the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the fantastic views and visiting wildlife.