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International Day for Biological Diversity: Tetney Blow Wells

21 May 2020

Blog

The blow wells were once part of a watercress farm (from 1948 until 1961) until they were then used for water extraction when the water board purchased part of the site in 1954, and then the remainder in 1961.

 

Since 1962, Anglian Water has owned this site and has been working to maintain these unique blow wells and the site which they occupy. In 1968, the site was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and in 1972, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust started to manage the site when it became a nature reserve.

 

Between 2012 and 2015, we invested around £200,000 to restore the site by the clear felling of three acres worth of trees as these were starting to dry out the wetland habitat.

 

Now, with the trees removed, the wet fen has started to return. Last October saw one hectare of reed bed being cut by a very specialist bit of machinery called a softrak. This machine is able to cut reed on very wet ground and has very little impact. Diggers were also brought on site to create four new ponds; these will provide a great habitat to amphibians and invertebrates that already rely on the site.

 

The nature reserve supports a very wide variety of wildlife and some have only moved on to the site since the restoration work has been carried out, including Marsh Harrier, Cetti’s Warbler, Water Rail to name a few birds.

 

However, the most exciting species for the site is a pair of rare Nathusius Pipistrelle. Back in 2012 before the restoration work was carried out, these bats were only recorded a few times on site, but mainly feeding over the Blow Wells. In 2018, DNA testing was carried out in the bat boxes on site which unveiled that they are now a permanent resident on the site.