Ferry Meadows Bringing Nature Closer
Significant progress is being made on an exciting new project at Ferry Meadows aimed at ‘bringing nature closer’ through the restoration of Heron and Goldie Meadows, transforming the area back to wetlands.
Essentially the scheme has reinstated ditches on three floodplain meadows which will consequently manage water levels so that they can be kept wetter for longer, opposed to the current trend which sees the locations flooded in the winter and dried out in the spring.
Not yet quite complete, but already, additional breeding, migration, wintering birds and other species are being experienced from the two new viewing platforms that have been created courtesy of a £29,000 grant from local construction business Mick George Ltd.
Although the Park has over 130ha of designated natural areas within its boundaries already, only a small fraction of that area has viewing facilities for the public, and those that do exist have become prone to willow succession which has substantially reduced their attractiveness and biodiversity value.
As well as the new viewing structures, the funding from Mick George Ltd has also permitted the removal of scrub and vegetation, installation of various interpretation boards, 3 benches and two finger boards all targeted towards an improved visitor experience.
Expected to be finished in the near future, the project has cost approximately £113,000 and has been funded by multiple sources, including the Mick George Community Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and a donation from the family of Terry Hadoke (a former Nene Park Trustee).
Adrian Oates, Head of Fundraising at Nene Park Trust said: ‘’The development to the Heron and Goldie Meadows have created the perfect habitat for wildlife.’’
Oates continued: ‘’Since the changes, we have seen increased visitor numbers, with those that have attended genuinely excited about the much-improved viewing opportunities of the wetland meadows from the new platforms. We are delighted with what has been achieved and are thankful to Mick George Ltd for their contribution.’’
Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd: ‘’Over the years, we have supported a number of conversation projects in partnership with the Wildlife Trust, National Trust, Woodland Trust and the RSPB, and on every occasion the feedback has been fantastic.’’
Stump continued: ‘’Knowing how popular Ferry Meadows is to the local community, we’re certain that visitors will be equally as impressed with the upgrades made this time around.’’