One of Norfolk’s most important, yet little-known, freshwater sites has been protected thanks to Biffa Award funding. Stow Bedon Common in Breckland is home to over 30 natural ponds, known as pingos. They were created over 12,000 years ago by ground-ice thawing during the last Ice Age, which left behind shallow depressions which filled with water. Free from pollution, these ponds are now exceptionally rich in freshwater life and are home to many rare plants and animals. The grant enabled work to be carried out to clear scrub and put up fencing to that livestick can graze the site – keeping the ponds in perfect condition for the plants and animals that live there. The ponds are home to an impressive range of water beetles, dragonflies and damselflies, and uncommon water plants like the carnivorous Bladderwort. The site is also home to Norfolk’s only known population of Pond Mud Snail, a species which has declined sharply throughout the UK and is now a priority for conservation.
So many species call these ancient, natural ponds home and it is fantastic to be able to conserve such an important site. It’s brilliant to see the area in safe hands and we can’t wait to see how these habitat rich areas develop. - Gillian French, Biffa Award Head of Grants
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