Protecting the site's ecology

Photo of elevated view across the lake to the West and view across the lake to the North West

A total of 14 ecological surveys were conducted at the Mepal site between March and September 2020, with more to take place in 2024. 

These confirmed the site provides suitable habitats for bats, otters, hedgehogs, brown hares, nesting birds, wintering birds, amphibians (toads and newts), owls, water voles, invertebrates, reptiles, dormice, and mining bees.

The site is also designated as a Country Wildlife site because of rare pond weed in the lake.

Overall, the site is considered to be of moderate to high ecological value. This in turn determines how and the extent to which the site can be developed for future uses.

Plans for the bereavement centre have been designed to protect the significant biodiversity and ecology that exists. They also increase its ecological value and provide net gains to biodiversity. 

Ecologists from The Wildlife Trust who undertook the surveys also confirmed it would no longer be appropriate and would be detrimental to its biodiversity to use the site for outdoor pursuit activities, such as sailing, canoeing and paddle boarding.