Peacock’s Meadow receives funding for wildlife pond

Volunteers at Peacock's Meadow

Peacocks Meadow in Littleport is about to start building it's eagerly awaited eco-pond thanks to a Pride of Place grant from East Cambridgeshire District Council.

The community garden has been awarded £13,414 towards the cost of building the 15-metre pond which will boost the environment for a broad range of aquatic invertebrates, pollinating insects, birds and mammals.

As well as boosting biodiversity, the pond will bring interest and pleasure to the 100s of visitors to Peacock’s Meadow and become a learning resource for youth clubs, Scouts, Guides, pre-schools, early years groups and organisations which support disabled children.

It will also help counteract the catastrophic loss of natural ponds in Cambridgeshire, which have declined 95% in 40 years.

Deb Curtis, committee chair at Peacock’s Meadow, said: “Peacock’s Meadow is the only volunteer-managed open space in Littleport and we have long wanted to create a ‘legacy wildlife pond’ within the community garden and we are so excited and pleased we now have the funds to do so.

Based on our observations of our small pools, we anticipate that within six months the pond will be rapidly colonised by amphibious reptiles such as frogs, toads and newts.

It will also provide a water source for wildlife such as birds, deer, foxes, hedgehogs, and even snakes, and create a breeding habitat for aquatic insects, such as dragonflies, damsel-flies and water boatmen.”

She added: “This will be a true community enterprise, involving our local Scout/Guide group, local youth club (The PORT) and our body of ‘Friends’ volunteers.

We have found these communal garden projects enormously beneficial in strengthening community bonds across different age groups, ethnicities and backgrounds, who as well as enjoying the nature can also go pond dipping and learn about the importance of biodiversity.”

The pond will be fenced to meet health and safety requirements and have a varying depth up to a maximum of 1.25 metres. Wildlife ladders will also be installed.

Littleport district councillor, Christine Ambrose Smith said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Friends of Peacock’s Meadow with this exciting project.

“The pond will provide a pocket sanctuary for local wildlife and enhance this wonderful community space, which I know has been dubbed the “Jewel in Littleport’s Crown.”

Work on the pond should start next month and be completed by July 2024.

Under its Pride of Place initiative, East Cambridgeshire District Council is making up to £15,000 available for environmentally friendly projects that create, tidy up or enhance somewhere special in local communities.

Applicants must either be a parish council, or a non-profit group or organisation which is either based in East Cambridgeshire or benefits East Cambridgeshire residents.

For full terms and conditions visit the Pride of Place page on the council’s website