Happy Valley LNR
Pond Restoration & Creation
Client: Mersey Rivers Trust
Final Value: £13,500
Start Date: Jan 2023
Finish Date: Feb 2023
CCNW was commissioned by Mersey Rivers Trust to create a new pond, and improvement works to two existing ponds through vegetation removal and tree felling. The project will enhance the quality of habitat for invertebrates and amphibians within the ponds of the Nature Reserve.
Happy Valley LNR is an ancient, wooded river valley with grassy flood plains. It is a hidden natural oasis where you can walk peacefully and enjoy the natural heritage. Located off Bridge Lane, Bramhall, the reserve is 3 miles from Stockport Town Centre. The site is a designated Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and a Site of Biological Importance (SBI). Mersey Rivers Trust managed the Happy Valley Norbury Project on behalf of Stockport Council, which owns the land.
The project aimed to create and improve the quality of habitat for invertebrates and amphibians within the two existing ponds within the Nature Reserve. Over the years, the two ponds have been choked up with pond weed and over-shaded by encroaching trees and vegetation.
The programme of works included the creation of a new pond and improvement works carried out on the two existing ponds through vegetation removal and tree felling. The creation of a third pond will provide further habitat for invertebrates and amphibians, boosting the biodiversity within the site. The new pond will provide specific habitat conditions for species that the other two can no longer provide.
The two existing ponds are currently choked up with Typha, commonly known as bull rush and over-shaded by Willow and Alder trees and ground vegetation. Carrying out selective thinning and removing the Typha from within the ponds and carrying out tree felling around the ponds will create more open water and allow more sunlight to reach the pond surfaces.
The tree works.
CCNW’s tree team carried out the marking out of several trees that were overshading the two existing ponds. All works were carried out by qualified CCNW staff in a sympathetic way using thinning and felling methods, carried out in the interests of the visual and habitat value of the site. The trees that were then felled were cut into lengths. A limited amount of felled material was placed on one side to be re-used in the creation of leaky dams elsewhere within Happy Valley.
The cut materials were used to create habitat piles and a hibernacula newt refuge. Most of the material was chipped, and the remaining logs were taken off-site for disposal.
Improvement work on existing ponds
CCNW conservation team carried out the removal of 60-70% of the Typha (bulrush) that was currently choking up the two existing ponds. The excavated materials were taken from the ponds and transported to a designated area adjacent to the location of the third new pond. It was placed within a low depression and was backfilled using the excavated spoil from the construction of the new third pond, creating a soil bund.
This method was carried out to prevent the transportation and damage along the newly surfaced tracks and disposal costs for wet materials.
Creation of the new pond
CCNW conservation team carried out the excavation of the new pond in a section of grassland close to the two existing ponds. The pond was excavated to approx. 30 meters x 30 meters in size and to a max depth of 1.5 meters.
The soil from the excavated pond area was reused to create a bund located on the woodland side of the pond by building up and regrading and levelling the low area along an existing desired line/footpath. The regrading and levelling will make it easier for the public to walk around the new pond edge.
In addition, the bunding around the newly created pond was seeded with a wildflower wet meadow mix.
Waterways and Wetland Management
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