Villagers invited to celebration bash to mark completion of Berwick pond restoration

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 and everyone is invited to celebrate its completed restoration this Saturday (11 May 2013) at 3.45pm.

The £6,760 project, which was spearheaded by Berwick Parochial Church Council (PCC), saw the previously overgrown pond being cleared, new native plants planted 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 which is 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 who 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 local people.

The project’s leader, Peter Blee, said: “We are delighted that 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 that this project is finished.”