Driffield News

Tophill Low closed until at least April… here’s why

Tophill Low Nature Reserve is currently closed to the public to allow for water treatment works to improve the quality of drinking water, as well as work to upgrade some of the hides and habitat improvement works.

The popular reserve at Watton closed on Monday, 7th February, with the length of closure to be reviewed in early April.

Construction work has begun this year to enable the water treatment works to improve drinking water quality.

To do this, new improved, more efficient filter beds, designed to cope with the algal issues in the water treatment works are to be installed.

All this work may seem dramatic – but Tophill Low is a working and dynamic site which always needs to be remembered is primarily a drinking water production site for Hull.

Material left over from numerous enhancement projects at the water treatment works is to be used within the reserve to benefit the habitats and visitor facilities.

By creating two separate mounds, one on the side of D reservoir and one to the side of O reservoir, wardens have the opportunity to replace the two existing hides (east hide and L shaped hide) with two hides that would provide greater visibility and accessibility for all visitors.

The hide at the south end will include new technology positioned on top, a MOTUS aerial; a piece of equipment that will help scientists at Hull University and other interested parties to track migrating birds as they pass over the area.

In order to move the material, wardens plan to fell several areas of non-native species of trees.

In due course, these areas will be replanted with woodland scrub, encouraging nesting warblers and visiting winter thrushes.

Taking out the larger trees, particularly near south marsh, takes out predator perches which will allow more successful breeding of ground nesting birds on the marshes.

In a similar attempt to remove these raptor viewing spots, much of the woodland will be pollarded, enabling denser, lower vegetation ideal nesting sites for smaller woodland birds.

As part of the tree works on site, timber from O reservoir wood, felled for tree safety works last winter, will be removed.

Volunteers continue to work on the reserve, this team from Oakfield School are learning how to pollard willow trees.

The area will be planted up with species more faithful to the River Hull such as alder, downy birch, alder buckthorn and sessile oak, which are all wet woodland species and ideal willow tit habitat.

The poplar trees, along the side of the access road, will also be removed and replaced with more native trees suited to the wetland environment, increasing the biodiversity that the reserve can offer.

All material harvested will be utilised as biofuels for renewable energy and any income will be used to offset the much higher costs of this work.

A spokesperson from Tophill Low said: “All this work may seem dramatic – but Tophill Low is a working and dynamic site which always needs to be remembered is primarily a drinking water production site for Hull.

Removal of timber at the south end.

“We thank our visitors for their patience during this time and hope that when they are able to return, they can appreciate once again the wildlife that it holds and be able to enjoy much improved habitats and visitor facilities.”

For a more detailed explanation please visit the blog post at tophilllow.blogspot.com/2021/12/phytoplankton-has-lot-to-answer-for.html

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please allow ads on our site Ads help pay for our website and content. Switch off your ad-blocker and enjoy.