The primary function of the Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDs) is to improve the water quality entering the lake. The secondary function is they will provide a valuable habitat and ecosystem for wildlife and be a fantastic addition to the Park’s diversity. The wetland areas will be established with great reedmace, branched bur-reed, soft rush and pond weeds; along with the natural colonisation of species already present. Smaller ponds will also be created near the reed bed and together with the reed beds will benefit a range of species from water plants, insects, bats, birds and mammals. It will particularily attract species such as dragonfly and damselfly who will colonise the area very quickly. Constant monitoring of the SuDs system will take place to understand the effect that it has on the water entering the park but also the species that establish in the habitat.
To facilitate the regeneration of the area and to conserve the existing grassland the topsoil containing the seed bank (the natural store of seeds) will be stripped, stored on site and reinstated when the construction work is completed. Following its regeneration, this reestablishment will result in areas of grassland being rich in wildflowers and insect fauna in turn attracting birds and mammals that feed on them.
Native broadleaved trees such as oak, alder buckthorn, hawthorn and hazel will be planted throughout the margins of the site and sporadically across the grassland areas recreating the historic parkland, in keeping with Stover’s Historic Parkland status. Bat, bird and dormice boxes will be erected around the SuDs systems and throughout the park along with habitat piles to encourage invertebrates. The wildlife and boxes will be monitored throughout its regeneration and beyond by licenced staff and volunteers to monitor species presence and abundance within the park.
An artist interpretation of the SuDs systems when fully established has been drawn showing Stover’s perceived vision of what the area will look like in approximately 10years from now. Habitat restoration is a long process and it will be interesting to see the areas re-establish itself through careful management.
Detailed Ecology plans for both systems can be found below: