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Rare fish released into Norfolk pond

PUBLISHED: 10:26 26 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:26 26 August 2020

A crucian carp is released into the lower fishing pond at Kelling Heath Holiday Park. Picture: Benjamin Leach

A crucian carp is released into the lower fishing pond at Kelling Heath Holiday Park. Picture: Benjamin Leach

Benjamin Leach

A rare species of carp has made a splash at a north Norfolk holiday park.

Peter Simmons, countryside ranger at Kelling Heath Holiday Park, releases a crucian carp into the park�s lower fishing pond. Picture: Benjamin LeachPeter Simmons, countryside ranger at Kelling Heath Holiday Park, releases a crucian carp into the park�s lower fishing pond. Picture: Benjamin Leach

Two hundred crucian carp, supplied by the Environment Agency, have been released into the Lower Pond at Kelling Heath Holiday Park as part of a reintroduction project.

The species was recently considered in danger of extinction, and its Norfolk population had been dramatically cut by the latter part of the last century due to overgrown ponds.

But a Norfolk Crucian Project has led to a 37pc increase in its distribution over the last decade. The move follows the introduction of 50 crucian carp into the park’s upper pond four years ago.

Peter Simmons, a countryside ranger at the park, said: “The plan was always to see how the first 50 would fare before we introduced more.

Neil Lincoln, fish farm technical officer at the Environment Agency, with one of the crucian carp released into Kelling Heath Holiday Park�s lower fishing pond. Picture: Benjamin LeachNeil Lincoln, fish farm technical officer at the Environment Agency, with one of the crucian carp released into Kelling Heath Holiday Park�s lower fishing pond. Picture: Benjamin Leach

“Thankfully, the environment here at Kelling seems to have suited them well, so we’re delighted to now welcome even more and do our bit to establish a much-needed crucian carp base in the area.”

Professor Carl Sayer, from University College London and the Norfolk Crucian Project, said: “We have been returning crucian carp to the wild in Norfolk by introducing them to ponds that used to support them and which we have restored.

“We also want to encourage fishing for crucian carp and are keen to work with brilliant fisheries such as Kelling Heath who give visitors a chance to see this captivating little fish.”

The holiday park - set on 300 acres of woodland and open heathland - runs an extensive programme of nature-based activities for guests, including pond dipping and fishing sessions.

The lower fishing pond at Kelling Heath Holiday Park. Picture: Benjamin LeachThe lower fishing pond at Kelling Heath Holiday Park. Picture: Benjamin Leach

Mr Simmons said: “I guess we’re providing a throwback to a time when kids didn’t have screens to distract them and families spent so more time with each other.

“There’s so much wildlife to discover and learn about at Kelling and we’re proud to say we’re the place where dozens of young anglers have caught their first fish.”

Peter Simmons, countryside ranger at Kelling Heath Holiday Park, and Neil Lincoln, fish farm technical officer at the Environment Agency, release 200 crucian carp into the park�s lower fishing pond.Picture: Supplied by Kelling Heath Holiday Park/Benjamin LeachPeter Simmons, countryside ranger at Kelling Heath Holiday Park, and Neil Lincoln, fish farm technical officer at the Environment Agency, release 200 crucian carp into the park�s lower fishing pond.Picture: Supplied by Kelling Heath Holiday Park/Benjamin Leach


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