Wildlife affected by pollution at Stover

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

Trees are being cut down at Stover Country Park to help improve the water quality at the Nature Reserve.

Over the years, water run-off from the A38 and Drumbridges roundabout has carried pollution from traffic, such as oil and metal residue from vehicle brakes, into the lake at the Country Park.

This, along with other factors, has contributed to the poor water quality of the lake and reduced the diversity of wildlife in the park, says Devon County Council.

Now, an innovative £1.6 million reed bed system is to be installed at Stover Country Park near Newton Abbot.

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Environmental Services, said: “This scheme is essential in order to counteract the problem with polluted run-off entering the lake.

‘No-one connected with the Country Park likes to cut down trees unless it is absolutely necessary, but the priority has to be tackling this pollution and preserving the wildlife the lake supports. Every effort is being made to minimise disruption and carry out this work as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

To clean the water entering the lake,
Highways England is funding and delivering the installation of a reed bed system within the park while also upgrading drainage.

To provide space for the reed beds, an area of conifer trees, planted by the Forestry Commission as a crop to be felled and sold, is currently being removed. Conifer plantations support a relatively low diversity of wildlife in comparison with other habitats, and the potential benefits to the quality of the lake will offset this tree loss.

Reed beds work with nature to tackle pollution and store a wide range of pollutants. They also provide a valuable habitat in their own right, supporting a range of
species of birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

Highways England is expected to start work on the reed bed in September this year. It is scheduled to take around eight months to complete.

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