Land transformed with power company's pond restoration

The overgrown pond area on land at Ilketshall, prior to transformation.

The overgrown pond area on land at Ilketshall, prior to transformation. Picture: UK Power Networks - Credit: UK Power Networks

Great crested newts have a potential new breeding ground thanks to a scheme that has seen land around an electricity substation in Suffolk transformed by the restoration of a pond.

The land around an electricity substation at Ilketshall has been transformed for local wildlife after a pond was restored to allow the protected amphibians to potentially breed there.

An image of the pond at Ilketshall after the transformation.

An image of the pond at Ilketshall after the transformation. Picture: UK Power Networks - Credit: UK Power Networks

UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity across the East of England, worked with Suffolk Wildlife Trust at the site near Beccles after identifying that it could revive the pond.

Having become clogged by reeds, the pond has been restored as part of the company’s Green Action Plan to enhance biodiversity at more than 100 of its sites to attract more wildlife and improve conservation.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust ecologists surveyed the site last year and a digger removed the reeds and reprofiled its bed.

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Engineers ensured that overhead electricity lines near the pond were made safe before work started.

UK Power Networks’ environment adviser, Heather Patrick, anticipates the restored pond will have refilled naturally by next year, making it a valuable feature for local wildlife, including breeding great crested newts.

A Great Crested Newt.

A Great Crested Newt. Picture: UK Power Networks - Credit: UK Power Networks

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She said: “The pond had become overgrown with reeds so there was almost no open water remaining at the start of the project.

"Great crested newts have been recorded in and around buildings on the site over the years.

"Once the pond has refilled naturally and some broadleaf plants suitable for newts to lay eggs in have re-emerged we hope the newts will use it for breeding.

“We are committed to enhancing biodiversity at our substations.

"The overall decline in biodiversity is down to many factors, including land-use change, overuse of natural resources, deforestation, pollution and climate change which can feel like an overwhelming problem.

"Our solution is to take actions that will help slow or reverse this loss, including supporting local conservation initiatives.”

Sam Hanks, wilder landscape manager for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: “Suffolk Wildlife Trust works as a habitat delivery body for this scheme and were pleased to be able to work with UK Power Networks to restore this pond in an important area for great crested newts.”

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