Wetland Extensions

From 2008 to 2011 huge new wetland areas will be added to the nature reserve.

David Attenborough endorses Rutland Water reservoir project

Sir David Attenborough paid a flying visit to the reserve on Friday 18 April 2008 and dug the first turf to mark the start of work on a £115 million major engineering scheme which will balance the demands of water resource management and the environment.

The Rutland Project will enable Anglian Water to meet increased demand for water in future years by taking up to 90 million extra litres per day from Rutland Water. What makes this project unique is the creation of new wetland areas and lagoons near Egleton which will have independent water levels, to ensure that the wildlife is not disturbed if the water level in the main body of the reservoir falls.

The heron was sculpted for Anglian Water from recycled shopping trolleys by Ptolemy Elrington as part of their Rivercare Project

It is this commitment to the environment which Sir David Attenborough, Patron of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, was happy to endorse. He said:

” Just occasionally there is great news and this is one of those times. This is a marvellous example of how a whole community works together to produce something that benefits the community and the natural world. I have a huge feeling of optimism and joy that there is something happening in a county that I am very fond of. It’s a real joy to be here, with something positive happening: something good and something advancing. “

Tim Appleton, the Reserve Manager, added:

” We are absolutely delighted that Sir David helped us mark the start of work on this project. Everyone has worked hard to ensure that wildlife, which is at the heart of Rutland Water, has been at the forefront of the planning process. “

Sir David went on to unveil the sculpture on the left and later visited the Trust’s newly refurbished Lyndon Visitor Centre to meet the Osprey Project team and see the just-opened Wildlife and Weather exhibition.

The new wetland areas are shown on this map.

Lagoon 4, the first of the new lagoons shown by the green-edged area to the north of Egleton is now open to the public. This is a very large area of shallow water to the west of the existing Lagoon 3. Please click here to see the preliminary work carried out by the Reserve’s staff and volunteers during the winter.

In 2009 a bund across the Fish Ponds area was built and work comn

menced during September 2009 of the scheduled construction for the complex of smaller lagoons to the west of Lax Hill. Work also began on large bunds enclosing Manton and Heron Bays, which involve the closure of Tern hide and temporary closure of some of the paths in this area.

Each lagoon will have its own independant water control to provide the optimum conditions for the birds, whatever the time of year. This will ensure that, should the water levels fall in the main body of the resevoir, the wildfowl will not be left high and dry.

The £115 million project has been carefully planned to ensure that the elements, including the extension of the water treatment works and the laying of more than 40 kilometres of new pipeline, will be achieved with minimum disturbance to the wildlife, land owners, local residents and the thousands of birdwatchers who visit Rutland Water during the year, and of course Bird Fair.