How do you think they keep the pools looking so good?
What it is all about...
The official description of the site is worth sharing, along with the rules on dogs at the end:
Sparham Pools lies in the Upper Wensum Valley near the villages of Lyng and Sparham, the site of former gravel workings that have been flooded to form deep and shallow pools with islands. The result is a very attractive and interesting site with a number of vantage points providing the opportunity to observe the pools and their rich and varied habitats.
The reserve, leased to NWT, is popular with birdwatchers as it attracts a number of waders and waterfowl. Sand martin and kingfisher nest in the banks and common terns breed on the islands.
Dragonflies and damselflies flourish including red-eyed damselflies and butterflies such as the purple hairstreak and green hairstreak. The area has a mix of birch, gorse and willow scrub with woodland supporting a rich variety of plant species including hound’s tongue and evening primrose.
Dogs policy: NWT no dogs policy on most of the reserve. The exception applies to the public footpath where NWT request that dogs are kept on short leads during breeding season May - September.
Hard work is what does it....
Lyng folk are pretty fortunate to have the benefit of Sparham pools just over the Wensum in neighbouring Sparham. But somebody has to manage the site or it would be inaccessible and overgrown.
The site is operated by Norfolk Wildlife Trust but they get help from a variety of voluntary organisations such as those working in this picture, NEWS or the Norwich Environmental Weekenders.
This group has projects on at Sparham and East Wretham currently. At Lyng a variety of growth is being cut back, particularly gorse which as walkers will know can overtake the site. It is fairly unnattractive most of the year although a good habitat for insects, especially dragonflies, and thus for feeding birds. But it easily dominates other plants and needs to be kept in check.
And that is the job the team was undertaking on the north east side of the pool on Sunday, January 13 when your reporter chanced upon them in a rare moment of sunshine. He admits to a momentary guilt at not taking part but accepts that age and infirmity proclude such activity!
BUT if you feel the need to share in the work then call Steve on 01603 259363 or contact The Conservation Volunteers on 01603 7678300 or via the web site.