6. Restoration of wetlands and ponds at Archer’s Green
Theme: Water Quality, Habitats and Wildlife
- That whatever the flow level, the river and its associated habitats, including banks and floodplains, are managed to support chalk stream species
To restore the ponds to their former ’wildlife haven’ conditions. Formerly, dragonflies and other invertebrates were numerous, and dabchicks, tufted ducks and teal were regularly seen. They had all disappeared by the early 1990s.
There are three ponds south of and parallel to the river.
The ponds have become deeply silted, partly due to reduced spring flows into the feeder stream, and because of poaching of the feeder stream banks by grazing cattle (which are essential to maintain the condition of the wet meadows). It is proposed to fence off some of the feeder stream banks to prevent further poaching. Some of the silt should also be removed from the ponds to enhance fish populations.
Tall trees have also over shaded the ponds, reducing the flora and fauna in and on the banks. The south bank trees are especially damaging and these have now been pollarded. This will improve light to the banks and river, encouraging bankside vegetation for water voles, water flora, breeding invertebrates, and facilitate access.