An ambitious project in the Bure and Ant Valleys will enable the ‘manipulation’ of the underwater ecology of two of the largest Broads in Norfolk. It will help to restore clear water and allow rare water plants to flourish.
The project has been made possible after Norfolk Wildlife Trust was awarded a Biffa Award Natural Environment Partnership Grant. The funding will enable the creation of three biomanipulation zones at Ranworth and Barton Broads. This will be achieved by creating three ‘fish barriers’ and the relocation of species that stir up sediment.
A balanced fish population is critical in restoring clear water. Fish that bottom feed can stir up nutrient-laden sediment, while other fish eat the algae grazing Daphnia (water fleas). Keeping these fish at balanced levels over large areas of water – 10.7ha at Ranworth and 4.2ha at Barton – will restore lost water quality. This will allow rare water plants such as holly-leaved naiad to once again flourish.
Today, we stand at a tipping point for wetland wildlife in the Norfolk Broads and for once, the news is good. -Nick Acheson, Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s reserve manager Adam Pimble explains how the fish barrier will work:
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