Floating digger provides next stage of fen restoration

A digger creating new ponds at Catfield Fen, Picture: Norfolk Wildlife Trust

A digger creating new ponds at Catfield Fen, Picture: Norfolk Wildlife Trust - Credit: Archant

A 14-ton floating digger has been helping to create a network of ponds in the Norfolk fens in order to help protect a rare orchid.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust is currently restoring Catfield Great and Little Fen near Barton Broad but, the very wet conditions means the trust has had to adapt how it works.

In order to overcome the problem of machinery sinking NWT's specialist machine operators have had to balance a 14-ton digger on lengths of timber called bog mats so that it 'floats' on the surface of the fen.

The project has received a £67,700 grant from Biffa Award as part of the Landfill Communities Fund to remove scrub and restore fen's dykes.

Kevin Hart, head of Nature Reserves at Norfolk Wildlife Trust said: 'This restoration project is crucial as the fen holds populations of some of the rarest species in the country including fen orchid, marsh fern, swallowtail butterfly and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly.'