Work on wetland area at Pigneys Wood, near North Walsham, will provide new homes for wildlife

It may look a little bleak and featureless on a chill February morning but, fingers crossed, this newly-created site in a north Norfolk community woodland will be alive with birds, amphibians and insects later in the year.

Trustees of Pigneys Wood, on the outskirts of North Walsham, have used most of a �7,500 Big Lottery Awards For All grant to create a lagoon and re-establish a traditional reed bed around it.

They hope the new wetland area will provide home comforts for creatures already found in the woodland and nearby North Walsham and Dilham Canal - including kingfishers, water vole, reed buntings, newts and frogs - and attract new arrivals.

Brian Abbs, Pigneys trustee and volunteer woodland manager, said the 58-acre site was also home to many butterflies and moths, and a range of birds of prey had been sighted there, including buzzards and Montagu's harrier, as well as little and cattle egrets.

Grant money funded the cost of hiring a digger to make the lagoon which it was hoped would create the right conditions to allow the remnants of an old reed bed to flourish and spread. It had been virtually lost when the area used to be cultivated and farmers had drained the land.

The remaining �1,200 grant money would be used to erect signs warning visitors that the area was boggy and the water deep, and to buy more wild water plants.

Over the past two years Mr Abbs said a large amount of work had been carried out in Pigneys Wood, including building an access track for emergency and woodland maintenance vehicles, widening a path to the bluebell area, installing a large noticeboard, digging a new pond, and creating a kingfisher bank, and a Norfolk-varieties apple orchard.

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