The Green Heart of Poringland


Site Management Plan Presented – posted 14 April 2020

A ten year management plan, commissioned by the trustees, has been presented to the Board for consideration.

Compiled by Norfolk Fringe Projects Officer, Matt Davies, the 2500 word report makes a number of wide ranging recommendations which the trustees will discuss at their next meeting.

The plan has four principal objectives: to manage and maintain the fishing lakes for both conservation value and for fishing as a sport and recreational activity; to develop, improve, enhance and maintain the biodiversity of the site for wildlife; to provide a resource for the local community to get actively involved in; to maintain and upgrade the site’s interpretation.

Among the management plan, or prescription as it is professionally known, are recommendations to replant the copses with oak, beech and rowan as standard trees and then guelder rose, spindle, hazel, crab apple and plum to create an under-storey which can be coppiced on a five to ten year  rotation.

The prescription highlights the difficulties of managing the soil bung, known as the mound, located on the south side of the site, adjacent to the housing development and the car park, where the vegetation has been cut back to ground level, leaving bare ground.

The report points out that on the south facing slope there are the remains of the gorse bushes in the form of stumps which will quickly recolonise the slope, the vegetation providing a natural barrier and important wildlife habitat and corridor.

It is suggested planting a mixed double or triple thick mixed native hedgerow on the top of the bank, comprising a mix of nut, seed and fruit producing trees which will have the greatest benefit to wildlife. Species could include hawthorn, blackthorn, spindle, hazel, guelder rose, plum, crab apple and field maple.  It is also proposed that a native hedgerow be planted on the western boundary where the new homes are being built at the far end of Noble lake.

The comprehensive plan also makes a number of recommendations for grassland and wildflower meadow management, gorse coppice rotation, creation of wood pile and reptile habitats and management of the conservation ponds.  It also suggests creating a bird feeding station on the site together with a viewing area with seating.

The trustees will consider the report when they next meet following the end of the present coronavirus pandemic.

Fringe Team to Advise on Lakes’ Management - posted 20 January 2020

The trustees of Poringland Lakes have commissioned a well known countryside management consultancy for advice on how best to manage and develop the site.  Initially, the Norwich Fringe Project will produce a management plan and assist with specialist maintenance including delivery of a substantial planting programme.

The move comes after the falling water table dramatically impacted on the silver birch copses and major changes to site boundaries including recent remodelling of the mound and installation of new fencing.

Established in 1991 the Norwich Fringe Project is a local authority funded countryside management partnership, working with volunteers, local communities and parish councils to look after the countryside around Norwich.  The team provide a full countryside management service, looking after a range of habitats and sites including woodlands, meadows, marshes, heathlands and ponds.

The team’s workload is diverse and ranges from providing advice on the management of sites and habitats, producing management and work plans, managing contractors and carrying out practical countryside management work – all supported by a dedicated team of volunteers.  The project is financially supported by Norwich City Council, Broadland and South Norfolk District Council.

Project Officer Matthew Davies was amazed at the transformation of the site since he last visited close on 20 years ago.

“What you have done here is simply remarkable” said Matt. “It’s a wonderful site and a credit to all involved.  I remember coming to the site around 2000 and what a positive change and difference 20 years had made.

“I was excited to see how the site had become an important green oasis now surrounded by housing. I was pleased to hear and see how conservation was an important part of the vision for Poringland Lakes. You can see that it’s a haven for wildlife.

“My first impression was the opportunity to further add to the existing conservation value of the site by planting up nut and fruit producing native trees particularly in and around the birch copses” added Matt.