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HEATHPATCH DEVELOPS NATURE RECOVERY PROGRAMME AND REINSTATES ANCIENT PONDS


Heathpatch has started work on ponds across the farm, guided by priorities set by Juliet Hawkins. Juliet is one of the country’s leading pond ecologists and pond historians.

In 2022 she surveyed the flora and fauna and the general state of all the farm ponds building on her previous work on the farm between 2006 and 2012.

Her findings have been shared with Suffolk Biological Information Service. She has also highlighted a number of ‘ghost ponds’ from old maps which have been lost with field amalgamation.

Research shows how many long-buried seeds of now rare plants re-appear when such ghost ponds are restored. Suffolk, along with Cheshire and parts of Norfolk, has the highest pond density in the UK.

There is work to do on the ponds themselves, but also on connectivity for wildlife between the ponds. To this end, seven new ponds have been created in the last four years and over 30,000 trees and 700m of new hedgeline planted.

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