Defunct reservoir to become new wildlife haven

PUBLISHED: 06:59 20 April 2015

Conservation volunteers at Holyford Woods.

Conservation volunteers at Holyford Woods.

Archant

Pond near Colyford is being developed into an important habitat for woodland critters

Work is under way to turn an old reservoir into a wildlife haven, near Colyford.

During the winter East Devon District Council’s Countryside team has been working hard to complete the first phase of a project to restore the large pond at the centre of Holyford Woods Local Nature Reserve.

The water body was formerly a small reservoir that was serviced and maintained by the water company, but over the last few decades it has been left to nature and developed into an important habitat for the wildlife in the woods.

Due to winter storms over recent years the pond has slowly filled up with stone that has been washed down the steep valley and it has been colonised by willow trees growing in the muddy shallows.

This has dramatically reduced its size and the amount of sunlight reaching the water’s surface, which is bad news for many of the plants and animals living in the pond.

To save the pond, countryside rangers, along with help from the East Devon Conservation Volunteers (EDCV) and the Axe Vale and District Conservation Society (AVDCS) worked throughout February to clear the willow trees from the pond.

The next stage will be to dredge part of the pond to create larger areas of open water and a more diverse pond habitat.

This work is planned for the autumn and, once complete, will transform this old reservoir into a wildlife haven.

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