Here in the Forest we are so lucky to have an extensive waterway network that still has the freedom to choose how it meanders and floods. The waterways are the connective threads of all that is special to the forest…. the forest, the ponds, the open spaces, the boggy areas.
This project is an opportunity to see the Forest at its wildest and most secretive. It is an opportunity to map our waterways and look for ways we can improve our ponds through restoration and creation of new ones where necessary, as well as to nurture what is already there.
The waterways and ponds project includes both flowing and standing water habitats. The focus of the project is the numerous brooks and ponds scattered across the forest, originating from seepages, pools and mires that are mainly clustered around Woorgreens but can be found elsewhere in the Forest such as Wigpool and Edgehill.
To restore ecological connectivity across the wetscape, the project has already recorded the conditions of many of these existing ponds, waterways and valley mires but more help is needed. The next steps will be to start creating accessible ponds for the benefits of local people and to restore waterways and valley mires in a phased approach including the removal of a significant obstruction (a weir) at Blakeney.
We want to see the recovery of iconic species that rely on the wetscape such as amphibians, reptiles, sphagnum mosses, willow tits and brook lampreys to name just a few.
The project will train up volunteers to carry out surveys looking at river habitats, fish, and the Forest brooks. You can also take part in workshops to learn how to survey ponds and help to discover and catalogue new ponds.
You might be surprised what you find!
From creating habitats for our wildlife or improving our waterways, to recording oral histories or finding old photos, there’s always something going on to get involved in!