Restoration ends at historic pond

Berwick village received a grant to restore the pond.''Rev Peter Blee

Berwick village received a grant to restore the pond.''Rev Peter Blee

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Villagers are celebrating this week after their pond was restored back to its former glory.

The historic village pond on Berwick Village Green has been given a new lease of life thanks to a £6,760 project.

The occasion was marked with a party in the village with residents invited to celebrate the completed restoration on May 11.

The project, which was spearheaded by Berwick Parochial Church Council (PCC), saw the previously overgrown pond being cleared, new native plants introduced to enhance biodiversity and log nests built to create habitats for reptiles and amphibians.

Previously around two thirds of the pond’s surface had been covered in the invasive New Zealand Pygmy weed, one of the worst aquatic plants affecting UK ponds and waterways.

The weeds had to be carefully removed with small diggers and disposed of at a burial site in a local field in accordance with Environment Agency guidelines.

The goat willow that was growing in the pond has also been removed, and the larger willows at the pond’s boundary have been cut back.

Funding for the project came from The Veolia Environmental Trust which awarded a grant of £5,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Specialists had advised that, if the pond was not restored, it would eventually disappear. A village meeting was called as a result and the project was developed with enthusiastic support from residents.

The project’s leader, Peter Blee, said: “We are delighted the project is now finished and I hope that lots of people will come and celebrate with us on Saturday.

“The pond was in desperate need of work and its restoration will not only benefit the environment and biodiversity of the area, but also members of the local community who can now enjoy and sustain the historic pond.”

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, McNabb Laurie, said: “This pond plays a vital role in enhancing local biodiversity while being a place that members of the Berwick community can be proud of. It is great to hear this project is finished.”

Landfill Tax and the Landfill Communities Fund covers any rubbish that is thrown away and cannot be reused so ends up in a landfill site. Operators of landfill sites collect tax on each tonne of landfill for HM Treasury. The tax is to make it more expensive to put waste into landfill, to encourage recycling.

For more information, or to apply for funding, visit our website www.veoliatrust.org.