Works have started to improve the habitat around Ackers Pit, to encourage a more productive fishery and improve the site for wildlife.

Erosion has become a serious issue at the site since the desilting of the pit in 2007. The silt that was removed from the lake bed was piled up on the banks, and the retaining boards have not been doing their job very well. A small band of volunteers have been installing some natural solutions to combat the erosion problem, and improve the general habitat.

The photo above shows the erosion to the bank behind the retaining boards between the fishing pegs. We decided to tackle the problem by pinning bundles of brash (cuttings from felled tree branches) a couple of feet infront of the board. This should help to reduce the impact of wave action, and help silt collect behind the bundles to provide rooting for water plants.

After staking the bundles to the lake bed, then clumps of reeds could be planted infront of the retaining boards, without fear of them being washed away. We also put clumps of the spiky grass juncus behind the retaining boards, to help hold the bank together, and discourage ducks from trampling and grazing the vegetation.

Hopefully by planting already established reeds, they should survive the attentions of the swans and ducks for a while. The reeds and brash will provide cover and food for all kinds of aquatic insects, that will in turn feed the fish. Fingers crossed, we should have a nice little reed bed establishing itself by next summer.

The finished margin – nice new reeds planted, and it looks a lot better than a soggy board! Many thanks to Reg and Steve for sorting us out with the reeds and doing the hard graft.

If any members would like to lend a hand with planting and habitat improvements at Ackers, we would welcome your help. Please drop an email to waasite@gmail.com