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Friends of Saddington Reservoir

Many local residents will be familiar with the local beauty spot Saddington Reservoir, which lies on a single track road between the villages of Gumley and Saddington. As the second oldest reservoir in Leicestershire, Saddington contains a unique ecosystem that is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

 

Over the last 220 years, undisturbed sediment deposited by Laughton and Saddington brooks has created an ideal habitat for invertebrates - beetles and insects - that feed a thriving population of fish and birds. There are also rare and endangered species of plants growing in the designated Nature Reserve at the southern end of the reservoir. Migrating birds such as Canadian and Pink-footed Geese, Great White Egret and even Osprey visit the reservoir joining resident birds such as Great-Crested Grebe, Swans and Moorhens.

 

Built in 1797 by the Grand Union Canal, to provide water for the canal system, Saddington Reservoir is still maintained by the Canal & River Trust to fulfil its original intention. This means that in summer and periods of drought, water is run off into the canal, sometimes leaving a much reduced body of water in the reservoir. When the water levels drop, people can damage the delicate ecosystems in the Nature Reserve by walking through the reeds and mud, disturbing nesting birds and sometimes even lighting fires and leaving litter.

 

As a charity, the Canal & River Trust struggles to provide regular management of the area around the reservoir, so a group of local residents has been given permission to adopt Saddington Reservoir. The Friends of Saddington Reservoir volunteers have been busy for the last year picking up litter along the roadside - a favourite spot for picnics - and working on plans to enhance and protect the environment.

 

On 4 March at 11am we will be meeting at the Saddington Sailing Club to discuss plans for this year and everyone is invited to attend. To find out more email friendsofsaddingtonreservoir@gmail.com.

 

Mandy Sanders

Issue 399
February 2018


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