Village pond is transformed

A CHOKED village pond has been given a new lease of life thanks to the commitment of people to return it to its position as a community oasis.After advice from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and a grant from the Government, the well-known pond and green at Tostock, near Bury St Edmunds has been transformed.

A CHOKED village pond has been given a new lease of life thanks to the commitment of people to return it to its position as a community oasis.

After advice from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and a grant from the Government, the well-known pond and green at Tostock, near Bury St Edmunds has been transformed.

Susan Stone, conservation assistant with the trust, said discussions with village council chairman Alan Bauly to have the Leys brought into DEFRA's Countryside Stewardship Scheme began in 2000.

She said: "The pond had become heavily shaded and was silting up so the plan included desilting the pond, coppicing scrub to allow additional light to reach the water and moving footpaths around the green to improve access and people's enjoyment of the site."


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Parish councillor Carl Buckle, who also works as a groundsman for Suffolk County Council, has been instrumental in taking the project forward.

He said: "The DEFRA grant has been especially useful in paying for a local farmer to come in and mow the grassland at specific times twice a year. This helps to maintain a rich variety of wildflowers on the site."

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The two-hectare green, which is owned by the parish council, supports a diverse plant community including marsh orchid, mouse-ear hawkweed, ox-eye daisy, harebell and ladies' bedstraw.

Mr Buckle said the pond was home to a variety of scarce species. Its gently shelved margins are colonised by lesser and greater spearwort, tubular water dropwort and the round leaves of the prostate marsh pennywort. Water crowfoot floats on the surface while protected great-crested newts thrive amongst the waterweeds in the clear depths.

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