PORINGLAND LAKES

The Green Heart of Poringland

CRISIS AND RESTORATION

In 2012 Poringland Lakes faced its biggest crisis in over 60 years when housing development adjacent to the site threatened the lakes very future.

Groundworks and drainage to the Norfolk Homes site dramatically reduced water levels.  As a result, two of the four lakes completely dried out while the remaining  two lakes were only saved after the Association stabilised water levels by installing  a temporary borehole. 

Sad sight - one of the lakes dries out completely following a dramatic drop in the water table.

Following a series of meetings between the Association and Norfolk Homes, the developers recognised their environmental responsibilities and, to their credit, acted positively to save the lakes. 

Another lake dries out as the water level drops dramatically

Norfolk Homes undertook an ambitious and costly refurbishment project, involving deepening the lakes, lining with a geotextile Bentonite membrane, providing a permanent borehole and landscaping.

Works starts on lining lake two.

 And continues apace

Lake two - lined and restocked.

Phase one is now complete.  Lakes two (pictured above) and three are now fully lined and have been restocked with a wide variety of fish including several ‘double figure’ carp.  The new layout also enables visitors to walk around the circumference of the lakes, making their visits far more enjoyable.  

By common concensus, the re-modelled lakes are proving a resounding success.  Now everyone is looking forward to the delivery of phase two and completion of the ambitious project which will enhance and safeguard the lakes future for years to come. 

Phase two has already started.  The fish in both lakes have been professionally netted and transferred to the renovated lakes (pictured above and below).  It is hoped that Norfolk Homes will soon start on the construction which involves dredging, deepening and lining the remaining lakes.


 

We hope to keep you advised as work progresses.

Phase Two Starts Ahead Of Schedule 

Work has begun on phase two of the project – well ahead of schedule.  Norfolk Homes’ were not expected to start the final stage until the early Autumn but have accelerated the programme following the successful implementation of phase one.

The developers returned to the site earlier this week to start the final phase which will see lake one drained, re-shaped to provide better access and lined with a geo-textile membrane before being re-stocked with fish. 



Work starts on re-profiling the conservation pond

It has been decided to retain one lake as a spring-fed pond.  While the water level is bound to vary during the year and can only sustain a small fish stock, it was thought important to retain the lake’s natural features, including its magnificent white water lilies. 

It has also been decided to keep the former stock pond.  Local naturalists have pressed for this area to be retained as it is an important breeding area for dragon flies which abound at the moment.

The former stock pond has also been re-profiled and lined with boulder clay to provide a 'natural' pond 

Conservation Pond Re-Profiled

Another big step in the restoration programme has been completed.  Norfolk Homes’ contractors have re-profiled the edges of the conservation pond to allow better public access and improve safety (pictured below).

Keen to retain the pond’s natural features, it was decided not to line this small lake but keep it as a spring-fed pond.  It is expected water levels will vary, making it unsuitable for larger fish but perfect as a breeding place for insects, especially dragonflies and damselflies.

Water levels will continue to be closely monitored to ensure the pond’s long-term future. 

July Start 

Work on the final phase of the lakes restoration project is likely to recommence in the middle of July when Norfolk Homes are expected to begin work on lining lake one.

Both conservation ponds have already been re-profiled, improving the wildlife habitat and providing better public access.

The final piece in the jigsaw will be slotted in place when contractors start work on lake one.  The challenging project will see the lake completely drained and re-shaped, including constructing a pathway around the circumference, before contractors lay the Bentonite geotextile membrane. The ‘carpet’ will then be covered with a mix of sand and soil before being refilled with water.

The final stage is expected to take about a month.  The 'new' lake will then be planted with aquatic plants and allowed to rest for a couple of months before fish are re-introduced.

Final Phase Begins


The final phase of the Lakes Restoration Project began in earnest today when Norfolk Homes groundworks team started work on remodelling and lining lake one 

The work, which is expected to take several weeks to complete, involves draining the lake, back-filling and lining with a Bentonite geo-textile membrane before eventually re-filling and restocking. 

The Transformers!!!

Norfolk Homes employees, Adrian Pegg (seated) and Michael Wright who have been instrumental in remodelling and restoring the lakes, so much so that they have earned the nickname “The Transformers!” take a break from operations to pose for our camera. 

Lake Really Taking Shape


  The final stage of the lakes refurbishment programme is really gaining pace.  Earlier today the contractors started to lay the Bentonite clay carpet in lake one and cover it with soil.  The hour glass shape can be clearly seen and judging by the heavy plant sitting on the bed of the lake, the new water should be well over six foot deep.

Final Piece in Jigsaw Puzzle 

The final piece in the ambitious restoration project was slotted into place earlier today when Norfolk Homes completed the lining of lake one e Glen Duffield Memorial lake) and water started to trickle in.

The milestone marks the end of a challenging nine-month project to re-model and line three lakes and reshape two conservation ponds after water levels dropped dramatically last year. 

The contractors are expected to return next week to increase the banking on lake two and generally tidy up the site.

Job Done!

The race to save Poringland Lakes for future generations has been won. 

Nine months after drainage works at the neighbouring Norfolk Homes site threatened the lakes future, the developers undertook an ambitious and costly programme to repair the damage by digging out and re-profiling the lakes and lining them with a Bentonite membrane. 

Yesterday contractors put the finishing touches to the project, building up the bankside and leveling off the pathways.  Finally the gap in the hill bridging both sites was re-instated, so literally closing the project! 

Bailiff Ray Noble was full of praise for Norfolk Homes and particularly the groundworks team of Adrian Pegg and Michael Wright. 

“Adrian and Mick have been brilliant” said a delighted Noble.  “Nine months ago, I feared the worst and was convinced the lakes would dry out completely.  Now thanks to Norfolk Homes and their team, the lakes have been saved for future generations. They have done a magnificent job” said Ray emotionally. 

Although the contractors have moved offsite, there is still much to do.  Drainage pipes need to be laid to both conservation ponds and scrub around the lakes and in the copse need to be gathered and burnt.  Eventually the dipping platforms will be re-instated. 

“Despite the weather, we had a great turnout at last Monday’s working party” said Association chairman Dave Gudgeon.  “We plan to arrange another session soon and hope our growing band of friends and supporters will be able to spare a couple of hours to help out” added Dave.

More details of the next working party will appear online soon. 

From This to This


 


Overflow Pipe Installed
 

In order to maintain water levels, a new overflow pipe has been laid between ‘Lake Duffield’ and the large conservation pond. 

Masterminded by specialist contractor Mick Waller Pumps, a large trench was excavated in order to accommodate a 40mm pipe so that any overflow from the higher lakes can drain off into the conservation area.

Following recent heavy rain, the small conservation pond is now starting to fill following a record dry September.

Final Smile!

"Just another 15,000 buckets and it'll be full Ray."


 Cheers Lads!

The tremendous work done over the past twelve months by Norfolk Homes contractors, Adrian Pegg and Mick Wright was acknowledged today when the hard working duo were each presented with a bottle of spirit to celebrate their achievements. 

Adrian and Mick have totally transformed the lakes, draining, profiling, lining and generally restoring the lakes to their former glory, often working in cold and difficult conditions.

Anglers put down their rods and gathered to mark the occasion.