Plans for a new water and wildlife feature at Bradlaugh Fields have been proposed by Anglian Water and Northampton Borough Council this week.

The proposals, which would showcase how different water levels support different types of wildlife while also being a place for locals to enjoy, were presented to the Friends of Bradlaugh Fields on Monday (12th) for consideration.

The plans aim to make the most of the water that’s naturally available in the area, including a reed-bed, marsh-like habitat in the top area, using rainwater run-off from the roof of the barn to fill the adjacent, middle pond and planting willow or other woodland in the lower area. The designs will now be worked-up in more detail.

The organisations have been working together to agree options for the site since the pond water levels started to decrease last month after a trickling leak on a nearby water main, which had been topping up the pond levels, was repaired.

Paul Valleley, Director of Water Services for Anglian Water said: “We all agree that we want to create natural habitats that support wildlife and are a place for the community to enjoy. We will now be working with the Friends of Bradlaugh Fields and the Council to work-up the designs in more detail and give them time to consider the proposals with their members.”

Councillor Mike Hallam, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for environment said: “Bradlaugh Fields is a unique and special part of Northampton. The area is home to a diverse range of plants and animals, it is an important conservation area and a much loved nature park with local people.

“Working with partners we have developed a plan that will not just protect the park today, but create an area future generations can enjoy. And, with this in mind, once the detail is agreed, we will be working on developing a range of educational programmes and materials specifically designed to teach people about the new water features and the wildlife within them.”

Display boards showing the plans are due to be erected in the barn at Bradlaugh Fields for members of the public to see and comment on over the coming weeks.

Three different features have been proposed to support different types of wildlife and show the different species that thrive in differing conditions, making the most of the natural attributes of the area. Work and planting to create the areas will be carried out sensitively, bearing in mind seasonality and the appropriate times to do such work.

Jane Pearman, Reserves Manager for Northamptonshire, said, "These proposals make the most of the available water resources to create and maintain a diverse range of wildlife habitats."