Biodiverse makeover for lake in Rochford

An ambitious programme of environmental improvements to the lake in Cherry Orchard Country Park in Rochford has been successfully completed.

The works, carried out by Rochford District Council and Essex Wildlife Trust, will provide a healthy wetland habitat for wildlife and protect the future of the lake as well as improve water quality and increase biodiversity.

Cllr Dave Sperring, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “This work will improve the biodiversity and longevity of the lake and enhance its natural beauty. It is a win for wildlife and for our residents. I would like to thank our Open Spaces team, Essex Wildlife Trust and our contractors, Hugh Pearl for their commitment, time, and effort to make this happen.”

The project includes re-profiling of the banks, creation of new wetland areas, and creating an open ditch and new habitat planting throughout the lake field, encouraging a diverse range of wildlife to the area.

A key part of the project was the widening of the Watervole Ditch to allow a higher volume of water entering the lake. This should increase the lake’s water levels after a very dry summer. The re-profiled banks will reduce erosion on the perimeter and provide additional habitat for wildlife.

Future plans for the park and it’s lake include the planting of native trees and shrub to create a mosaic habitat which hopefully will increase the numbers of bird and invertebrate species in the park. Creating this mosaic will increase the network of habitat for wildlife species to travel between.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk