Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CFGNEWS to 80360 or email us »
Wildlife haven gets the green light
5:00pm Friday 1st March 2013 in News
A NEW wildlife haven will be created close to a beauty spot on the Colne Estuary.
Plans to turn grazing land used by sheep at Freeland Farm, in Lower Farm Lane, Brightlingsea, into a wetland habitat have been approved by Tendring Council.
Farm owner Gary Overett, of Whitegate Road, submitted plans to create a hectare-sized pond – known as a scrape – next to Brightlingsea’s Colne Estuary site of special scientific interest.
“We get foxes, badgers and all types of wading birds down there,” said Mr Overett.
“We just want to enhance our little bit of England and help to protect those species.
“I am a country person and have been all my life. Since we bought the farm a couple of years ago, we have done all we can to encourage wildlife.
“We have planted a little spinney of 150 trees and will be planting a wildlife hedge down the side.”
The scrape is designed for wildlife, with shallow water and muddy, gently sloping sides. It will provide foraging and breeding habitat for waders, such as lapwings and redshank.
It is thought pippistrelle bats will also benefit from the scheme, as it will provide a habitat for wetland insects. The Colne Estuary is designated a wetland of international importance, partly due to its overwintering population of redshank.
The scrape will initially provide a freshwater habitat, but has the potential to become brackish following a flood.
The pond will be created using a 13-tonne excavator, but will be carried out over just a few days to minimise the impact on birds on the estuary.