A sparkling new wetland for wildlife is almost complete

A very Happy New Year to all!

Things have been very busy since our last update in the autumn.

We were so sorry to hear of all the people whose properties were flooded during the flooding event in early November, including our neighbours at the Low Valley caravan site. However our contractors on the ‘Wings across the Ings’ project completed the construction works just before Christmas, and hopefully the new flood defences will help prevent it from happening again.

The new Fleet, as well as the washland at Wombwell Ings, was completely flooded. It provided a spectacular view as to how the new wetland will look when full, and how it will help to provide new wetland habitats and flood mitigation in the future.

The Fleet flooded in the November 2019 floods (the Fleet is on the left, Bulling Dyke in the centre and Wombwell Ings to the right). Photograph: Jeff Lunn

The newly sown grassland also survived being drowned and is coming along really well. A great white egret found the new ditches to its liking and spent quite a few days in the area.

While the contractors Bittern Excavations were on site, Paul carried out some further work around Broomhill Flash with new ditches and islands, and a new pond in the car park. We hope that this will provide some extra potential for visiting groups and organised events to get more hands-on with wildlife.

The new pond taking shape adjacent to the hide
Photograph: Jeff Lunn

Ponds are great features and frogs, newts and dragonflies can all rapidly colonise. We are grateful to Pete Wall, Sophie Pinder and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust volunteers for ‘puddling’ the clay liner of the pond – this is a traditional method of creating a watertight lining to new ponds. The work has opened up the south side of the hide as well and once some repairs and landscaping are complete, should provide a more open space – maybe the nestboxes will prove more attractive to breeding birds (we’ve not had much luck so far).

In the next three months

We will see the official end of the ‘Wings across the Ings’ project. The new land has been transformed into a sparkling new wetland for wildlife and a robust extra flood defence. Improvements have been made for people to understand and enjoy the whole of Broomhill Flash reserve and its new extensions Chirl Hill and the Fleet.

Come and learn about conservation

In the next 3 months, we will be hosting lots of events for the local community. These will involve heritage conservation, heritage walks, bird box building, introducing greater water parsnip onto the reserve, local history, sustainable farming, wetland creation, introduction to bird watching and wildlife explorer events for young people.

Free educational visits are also available for youth and school groups (informal or linked to the National Curriculum for all key stages) and young people to discover Broomhill Flash Nature Reserve and explore its heritage, wildlife, archaeology, local history, farming and flood alleviation.

We will also be hosting an exhibition to celebrate the creativity of young people who have entered our competition. So watch this space!

Check out our events for more information

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