Protecting and Connecting Stow Bedon Common

Stow Bedon Common in the Brecks area of Norfolk is a little known, yet incredibly important site for freshwater life

This small reserve is home to over 30 ancient ice age ponds known as ‘pingos’. Free from pollution, these special seasonal ponds support an exceptional range of freshwater plants and animals, including many rare or declining species – take a look at the pond survey report here.

Contractors have been clearing trees from some pingos to allow more wetland plants to thrive © Tim Hanks

With support from Biffa Award and Anglian Water’s ‘Flourishing Environment’ fund, Freshwater Habitats Trust have been working with site managers and the local community to help maintain this Flagship Pond site’s unique features.

The newly installed fences on Stow Bedon Common will allow key areas to be grazed, creating and maintaining the right conditions for lots of pond wildlife

During 2018 specialist contractors carefully remove scrub and trees from some of the ponds; opening up years of tree growth which was shading out and reducing the potential for wetland plants to thrive. The funds have also paid for the installation of almost 2km of fencing around the site so that grazing animals could gradually be re-introduced to the common – light grazing will maintain the open conditions upon which may key species require.

A bridleway passes through the middle of the common – beautiful place to visit.

The final part of our project is to raise awareness about this wonderful site. We’ll be installing a dedicated interpretation panel, explaining to visitors who use the well-established bridal way that bisects the site about Stow Bedon’s unique value. We are also forming a ‘Freshwater Friends’ group at the site, with 2 events planned for 16th and 17th March 2019 where we will be running free workshops on water quality testing and undertaking small scale practical management work.

For further information or to book a place on one the events, please contact pcase@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk

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