February update:

Deputy Park Manager Chris Rollason gives an update on the project so far in the video below, sharing some amazing drone footage of the soil being moved into Gunwade Lake. 

Project overview:

We're excited to announce a new reedbed habitat creation project that will be starting early in 2024, using the existing mound of earth left over from the new car park construction at Lakeside.

Regular visitors to Ferry Meadows over the past year will have noticed the huge mound of earth sitting next to Gunwade Lake. We have been waiting to secure funding to transform this into an exciting conservation project and are now thrilled to announce that this is no longer just a mound of earth; it will soon be an essential part of a new reedbed creation project, creating improved habitat for our fish as well as other amphibian, bird and invertebrate species. Thanks to funding from Valencia Community Fund through the Landfill Communities Fund and from the Environment Agency Fisheries Improvement Programme, we can now proceed with this project, in partnership with the Environment Agency and Peterborough and District Angling Association (PDAA). 

'Burying’ this soil in Gunwade Lake will create a large underwater soil bed that will then be planted with common reed, which thrives in shallow water.  Overtime, the reed will establish itself to create a large reed bed, currently a scarce habitat in the Park. This will improve the biodiversity of the Lake as well as helping filter the water. Once established, this new reedbed habitat will support a wide variety of species.  The dense tangle of submerged reed stems and roots will provide secure spawning sites for fish as well as a refuge for small fish, keeping them safe from predatory fish and birds.

The work to move the earth into the south east corner of Gunwade Lake and then create the reed bed is being undertaken by our contractor The Fen Group. Work will begin in mid-January and will take around a month. The stretch of footpath in this area will be closed to visitors during this time but a diversion route will be in place with clear signage showing where visitors can walk. After the mound of earth has been moved, the grass area will be reseeded with a wildflower mix that will benefit pollinator species.

Work will be starting on 22nd January 2024.