Floating island to be a wildlife haven
NESTING birds and other wildlife are set to benefit from 60 floating “islands” at Pitsford Water.
The two-metre islands are in fact plant-filled rafts anchored by adjustable cables and weights.
Each island provides shelter for birds to nest, as well as vital protection from the elements and predators.
They have been commissioned by Anglian Water, with 60 put in place to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
Mike Drew, Anglian Water’s Biodiversity Action Plan scientist, said: “The reservoir is really important for breeding birds like coots, moorhen, little grebes and great-crested grebes that rely on the habitats found around the water’s edge to breed.
“The recent drought saw water levels drop to just 60 per cent of normal levels and much of that water’s edge habitat was lost. These islands will provide stable habitat, which will be unaffected by changing water levels as well giving cover to fish and aquatic invertebrates.”
The reservoir forms part of the 750-acre Pitsford nature reserve, designated as a site of special scientific interest since 1970 because of the rare birds and wildlife that inhabit the site.
Opened in 1956 by the Queen Mother, the reservoir supplies water to Northampton together with parts of Daventry and Brixworth.
Mr Drew added: “Pitsford Reservoir has a strong royal connection, having been opened by the Queen Mother.
“When we were looking at how many rafts to build as part of this project, we decided on 60, one for each year of the Queen’s reign, as a novel way to mark the Diamond Jubilee.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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