Sunday, January 23, 2011

K&A Canal nature reserve delay

Plans for a nature reserve on land at Fobney Island  on the River Kennet on the K&A Canal on the outskirts of Reading will be delayed because of lack of funds.

Fobney Lock: Picture by Andy Hawkins

The joint project by the Environment Agency, Reading Borough Council and the Thames Restoration Trust  was to have started in July this year and been completed in 17 weeks — but because of shortage of funds it will now have to be split over two years.

The ambitious plan to turn the island into a thriving reserve and wetland habitat with a nature trail through it involves restoring a 500m stretch of the river to create improved breeding grounds for fish and a safe area for animals.
The riverbank will attract wildlife including kingfishers and water voles and the wetland area will be an ideal habitat for reptiles and amphibians.
Bird viewing screens will be installed for ornithologists and designated places for anglers will be created.
The EA has consulted with groups including Thames Water, Reading Ornithological Club, Reading and District Angling Association and the Chalkstream Restoration Project.
The Thames Water Pump House at Fobney Lock.
Picture by Uli Harder

It is understood that Thames Water plan to give a boost to the scheme by turning the pumping station building at Fobney Lock into a visitors’ centre.

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