Lime Avenue ponds Restoration Project

The Ranger Team will be working hard on the Lime Avenue ponds restoration project for the next few weeks

The restoration of the Lime Avenue ponds is an incredibly exciting and long awaited project that will make the area not only more pleasant for visitors but will help to encourage and support the wildlife in the area. Read on to discover the history behind the ponds, the work that is happening and the benefits of the project.

Project overview

From Monday 14th of August, Calves Croft will be closed to the public so that the vital restoration project to the Lime Avenue ponds can take place. In order to carry out the restoration project, the use of heavy machinery will be necessary, so the area will need to be closed for 2 weeks to keep the public safe. If the work requires longer - we shall keep you updated. For exciting updates, pictures and information you can watch the project unfold over Facebook and Twitter.

Heavy machinery that is being used for the Lime Avenue ponds Restoration project
Heavy machinery that is being used for the Lime Avenue ponds Restoration project

Our fantastic Ranger Team will be leading 'behind the scenes' tours so that visitors can take a look at the work that is going on in a controlled and safe way. Walks will be at 10am and 2pm daily with additional early and late ones on Wednesday at 8.30am and 6pm. Please meet at the Information Centre located in the main car park - walks will last for 30 minutes - please bring suitable footwear for outdoor terrain. No charge for these walks.

Our Ranger Team will be leading guided walks around the Lime Avenue project site
Our Ranger Team will be leading guided walks around the Lime Avenue project site

The project will inlvove de-silting, removal of recent (c1980's) modifications and re-instating the original watercourse between the two ponds. When our team have completed the project the ponds will be a wonderful spot for both visitors and our wildlife to enjoy.

Historic development

The pond first shows up on a map in 1740 as one pond. It was described in 1810 as a series of pits alongside the margins of the Lime Avenue.  Lime Avenue was planted in 1670’s and there was a substantial re-planting between 1840 and 1860 and the species of Lime tree was changed  from Common Lime to Large Leaved Lime.

1824 still shown as one pond on map

Historic development of the Lime Avenue ponds - 1824 map of Lyme
Historic development of the Lime Avenue ponds - 1824 map of Lyme

1850 first time it is shown as 2 ponds

Historic development of the Lime Avenue ponds - 1850 map of Lyme

1871 ponds no longer functioning, silted up and overgrown.

1909 ponds fully restored by Thomas Wodehouse the 2nd Lord Newton. At this point the Lime tree were removed and shrubbery was planted including Golden Yew, this was thought to create more of a duck flight pond as part of the hunting estate.

Historic development of the Lime Avenue ponds - 1909 map of Lyme
Historic development of the Lime Avenue ponds - 1909 map of Lyme

1980’s saw additions to the Lime Avenue ponds which involved a silt trap, a water feature in the dam to reduce stagnation, flagstones to aid visitors and an upper island.

 

Pre-project planning

 

Our Ranger Team have spent months carefully planning this project, working closely with an arcaeologist and a team of ecologists, both will be on site throughout the project to provide assistance. The archaeologist will oversee the project and assist our team where required and the ecologists are working hard to carefully relocate any amphibians in the area to the Hibernaculums that were constructed by our Ranger Team and the Youth Ranger Group earlier in the year, to provide a refuge for a whole host of amphibians, including newts.

Ecologists are working with our Ranger Team to help carefully relocate amphibians to the Hibernaculums
Ecologists are working with our Ranger Team to help carefully relocate amphibians to the Hibernaculums

 

 

When the project is complete this area will not only help the current wildlife in that area but will also provide better breeding conditions for newts, dragonflies, damselflies and bats.

 

Frog friend found - this lovely chap will be relocated to one of our Hibernaculums whilst the restoration project is carried out
Frog friend found - this lovely chap will be relocated to one of our Hibernaculums whilst the restoration project is carried out

 

We are very proud of our Ranger Team and wish them well with this exciting project.