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Watermill Farm, Norfolk

A restoration-led sand, gravel and peat extraction, enabling former agricultural land to be restored to new wetland wildlife habitats. Preparation of the proposals included an environmental assessment, detailed design, planning application, contract administration and coordination of an ongoing restoration management and monitoring programme.

A key feature of the restoration was the removal of nutrient rich peat and topsoil to expose the underlying chalk. This meant that a series of shallow, calcareous lakes and pools could be created that are rich in aquatic invertebrate life. The shallow water allowed reed and other swamp vegetation to colonise rapidly, establishing new wetland habitats. The exposed chalk surfaces also provided opportunity for the creation of species-rich wildflower grassland and fen meadow. The site now supports a wide range of species, including wetland birds, water vole, and a number of rare aquatic beetles.
 
© 2010 The Landscape Partnership