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We are pleased to announce that our work to restore the water levels on the Ken Hill marshes was completed shortly before Christmas! 

Our advisor at Natural England described this as probably the largest single piece of nature conservation work in Norfolk this year, and the results have already been stunning. 

The Ken Hill marshes in the winter sun, full of recent rain water

It is already easy to observe how much more water there is on the marshes. We heard from the Wash Wader Ringing Group that they had already spotted 80 curlews xxx, showing the works have made progress against its goal of improving the habitat for wading birds.

The works took two years of planning and hyrdological modelling, and for almost four months we had three diggers on site, moving a serious volume of earth to create a new high-level water system. 

After all this hard work, in mid-December we slotted in the final piece of the puzzle: sluice boards to hold more water across the marshes.

Newly implanted sluice boards, with water flowing over the top

The marshes are quite large, and we did not know how long they would take to “fill up”. Fortunately, the period before Christmas was rather wet in West Norfolk. Our nearby weather station recorded around 45mm of rainfall in the 10 days prior to Christmas. As such, water was brimming over the sluices about one month after they were put in!

It’s great to have one of the key pieces of ecological restoration work behind us. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and see what happen to the nearby ecosystems.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all those involved in the project, particularly John Ebbage at Natural England and our independent hydrologist  Andrew Earle who designed the works, as well as the Morfoot’s team who did such a fantastic job implementing it. 

We are hoping all of those who are kindly following our progress had a wonderful Christmas break, and we wish you all the best for 2020! Please don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more frequent updates!

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