Pond plans bid to create wildlife haven in Aldborough

A green fingered scheme to return a relic of natural history to a north Norfolk village has been launched - with hopes it will also encourage a rare visitor to set down roots among residents.

Plans have been submitted to construct a wildlife pond on Aldborough's village green to replace the original body of water, which was filled in around 50 years ago.

But those behind the project want their basin to become a haven for wildlife, rather than an ornamental feature for feeding ducks, and hope by doing so they could entice mudwort - a tiny and rare species of plant into the village.

Aldborough Wildlife Group say the conditions created by the natural pond could also attract other flora and fauna into the area and believe it would enhance the 'tatty' looking eastern side of the green, where it is proposed to be sited.

Bob Eke, chairman, added: 'We hope it will do a lot to make that whole part of the green just that bit more interesting. It's right outside the community centre and it's a busy little corner but as an amenity area it's not much use.

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'We hope that not only are we going to be creating something that will be to the benefit of wildlife but, without doubt, will be of benefit for the village as a whole. It will add an extra dimension to the village again.'

Mr Eke said there had been a pond in Aldborough for 'hundreds of years' but the original one fell into disrepair and was eventually filled. Since then plans to reinstate it have been mooted several times but never came to fruition.

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The Wildlife Group is keen to see its scheme passed, however and many residents have already expressed their support.

'This will be a natural pond it's not going to be lined,' Mr Eke added. 'It will rise and fall to reflect the natural ground water movements and mud will be exposed, and that in itself provides certain environments for species, like the mudwort.'

The soil removed to excavate the pond would also be put to use to add to the area's biodiversity as it would be spread around the site and seeded with wild flowers.

If passed it is estimated the 12 metre x 20 metre pond would cost between �5,000 - �10,000 to construct, which the group hopes to make a start on by applying for a conservation grant of up to �3,750 from Norfolk County Council. The rest of the money would come from fundraising.

North Norfolk District Council will make a final decision on the pond plans.

? If you would like to donate to the project contact Mr Eke on 01263 768759 or email bobeke@tiscali.co.uk

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