Lake maintenance to enhance Cuckoo’s Hollow in Werrington

Natural Environment
Large scale maintenance is due to begin next month at Cuckoo's Hollow and is set to deliver benefits to wildlife, local residents and the wider city. The work will also provide longer term management for the lake as part of a river improvement programme.

Popular with wildlife and local walkers, Cuckoo's Hollow is an area of green space in Werrington with a picturesque lake. The lake is fed by Werrington Brook and flows into Car Dyke, ultimately being part of the River Welland catchment.

In recent years reeds have increasingly spread across the lake and silt levels have risen. If left, the reeds will eventually cover the entire lake, affecting views and water flow.

Peterborough City Council is leading an £86,000 project to improve the lake, remove some of the reeds and reduce silt, with minimal impact on wildlife and residents. The work to remove the reeds is planned for February to avoid the nesting season.

Councillor Nigel North, cabinet member for communities and environment capital, said: "Green spaces like Cuckoo's Hollow are part of what makes Peterborough a great place to live, so it's vital that we look after them.

"This maintenance will improve the area for both residents and wildlife. Cuckoo's Hollow will remain open while the work is underway, although there will be safety fencing in some places.

"In the long-term the Werrington Brook Improvement programme (WBI) will enable the river and lake to become more self-sustaining.

"Further work to the lake is planned over the next three years, but feedback from our public consultation in October supported the more urgent removal of reed growth."

The work will involve the use of a specialist amphibious vehicle to cut the reeds and remove roots with minimal disturbance to the lake bed. A channel will then be cut into the lake bed to improve future water flow.

The removed silt will be placed on a small section of the bank to drain naturally and, once dry, will be landscaped and seeded with grass in the spring. More information on the work can be seen at www.peterborough-suds.org/cuckoos-hollow.

The flow of water into Cuckoo's Hollow and its sediment management will be further improved by the five year WBI.

This programme, led by the city council and Environment Agency with support from Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) is in its second year and the area of work includes Marholm Brook, Werrington Brook and Cuckoo's Hollow.

The physical works will involve putting new natural river features back into the brooks to improve the way they function. This will make them more resilient to changing weather and environmental conditions, using natural processes and will benefit residents and wildlife.

The features will help clean the water, create new habitats and provide a more pleasant space for all to enjoy.

For more information about the WBI see www.pect.org.uk/werringtonbrook.