White Horse Contractors Featured on Countryfile

White Horse Contractors' water engineering expertise has recently been showcased on BBC One's Countryfile. The programme featured the construction of a new pond at Pinkhill Meadows Nature Reserve in Oxfordshire.

The new pond, which has been constructed as part of the National Pond Conservation's 'Million Ponds' project, was constructed by White Horse Contractors to help encourage water dependent flora and fauna in to the area. It is an addition to the Pinkhill Meadows Nature Reserve, where White Horse Contractors constructed the original network of ponds in the late 1980s and which is now part of the National Collection of Freshwater sites.

White Horse Contractors used its own specialist excavating machinery to dig the pond. Guy Tulloch, Contracts Manager of White Horse Contractors, oversaw the project, commenting, "By using one of our specialist low ground pressure excavators, fitted with a power tilt bucket, we were able to create the pond with varying depths whilst sympathetically marrying it into the surrounding contours. As the pond was the first in a series to be built as part of the Million Ponds project, it was necessary to set an example to others as to the ideal requirements for pond construction, ensuring there was a good mix of both deep and shallow margins."

Pinkhill forms part of a national research programme undertaken by Pond Action, a leading group of fresh-water ecologists, based in Oxford. Each of the water and wetland areas are being studied to see which plants and animals colonise them. The seven ponds near the western tip of the meadow are being used to find the best way of creating species-rich plant beds in ponds and to discover how plant species encourage invertebrates like Dragonflies, Water Beetles Leeches and Water Snails to colonise new ponds and wetlands. Pinkhill Meadow was awarded an Oxfordshire Special Conservation Award in 1993.

The key aim of the Million Ponds project is to develop a number of clean ponds that will support the population of varying wildlife, including more than 80 Priority Species that live in the water and around the pond edge. A recent review showed that around 85% of the rarest priority species rely on a good water supply to survive, a statistic that is driving the new wave of pond construction.

For more information on the Million Ponds project visit www.pondconservation.org.uk/millionponds

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