Upon completion of the project, there will be a large area of ground at Model Boating Pond, including the faces of the new dam, in need of restoration. The construction work will be finished here in October 2016 but the restoration will take place after this period.
The Heath’s Senior Ecologist has drawn up a detailed plan of how to restore this area so that is in keeping with the landscape and ecology of the Heath.
Prior to the start of the project the area in question, the Tumulus Field, which is now the work compound for Model Boating Pond, was covered in rough grassland and was poor in plant species, and of little ecological interest.
In restoring this area, it will be sown with seed mixes containing different mixes of native grasses and perennial wild flowers. Some areas will be just grassy (bright green in below picture), others will be dominated by grasses (light green) but also contain some wild flowers, and yet others will contain grasses but with a higher proportion of wild flowers (white).
The grassy areas have been positioned in places where there were desire lines or informal paths, so these can be mown short.
The areas with high proportion of wild flowers will resemble the ‘Sparrows’ site above the running track at Parliament Hill. Not only does this look attractive but it is valuable habitat for bees, butterflies and other insects.
The dam and spillway will be turfed in grass. The turf will contain some wild flowers and will be mown several times a year. From the top of the dam there will be unrivaled views over the Model Boating Pond, ponds to the south and in the summer the flowery meadow of the restored Tumulus field.
The pond itself will have more marginal aquatic plants, which look attractive, benefit water quality and provide wildlife habitat, including refuges for young fish.There will still be some places on the pond edge left clear for angling and for Model Boating.
A number of trees and shrubs will also be planted as part of the restoration, including the reinstatement of an original line of trees, identified in a historical map of the Heath. You can see this line to the left of the pond in the below plan.