The Restoration of Chingford Pond

 

Chingford Pond is an original Capability Brown lake created in 1756 and forms part of the Burton Park Estate near Petworth in West Sussex.

As part of our overall management and care of the wider estate, we were delighted that a key part of our work was to form part of the team restoring the lake which since the mid C20th had silted up and very little open water remained apparent. Working under the Conservation Management Plan and Environmental Action Plan, we worked together to clear the dried lake bed of willow and to manage out invasive plant species, including Japanese knotweed and bamboo. Our team also created new dormice habitats, planted trees and hedges to create wildlife buffer strips, restoration of the historic cascade, and embankment management to allow the return of a rare aquatic snail “Desmoulins Whorl Snail”.

We are now responsible for the ongoing restorative works as part of a Landscape Restoration Plan, which includes ongoing habitat management and creation, tree surgery, and working with the dam engineers for monitoring operations.

In 2014, before we joined the Park’s team, a major 10-year engineering operation was completed, including re-building a dam, embankment and historic cascade. This was a multi-disciplinary project involving South Downs National Park Authority, Natural England, West Sussex County Council, The Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, and many ecologists.

Following its restoration, Chingford Pond has regained its beauty as a landscape feature and as a natural habitat for wildlife.

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