Wet weather leaves 20 million gallons of water on nature reserve

A pathway surrounded by water

The most recent flooding at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve - Credit: Nigel Middleton

A nature reserve warden says he is facing a raft of repairs after wet weather and storms left the site holding around 20 million gallons of water.

Nigel Middleton, warden for Sculthorpe Moor nature reserve, home to the Hawk and Owl Trust, said wet weather and Storm Darcy has left the site ‘sodden’ and battling water damage again.

He estimates the site, which has had issues with flooding before, is holding 20 million gallons of water.

Warden of Sculthorpe, Nigel Middleton said the Environment Agency were incapable of dealing with the

Warden of Sculthorpe, Nigel Middleton - Credit: Ian Burt

Mr Middleton came up with the estimate after measuring a part of the land's depth of water and applying it across the site.

He said he thought there was already around 15 million gallons of water across the site before Storm Darcy, which had added another five million.

The water is sitting on the newly created wetland, adjacent to the river, which as a result of the weather burst its banks, spilling on to the reserve.

A pathway surrounded by water

The most recent flooding at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve - Credit: Nigel Middleton


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Mr Middleton said, “It is so frustrating to see all the damage that the water has done. We are looking at measures that we can take to mitigate the damage done by the ingress of so much water, but it is a difficult task.

"I gather that, following the storm, every river in the county was at its limit. The reserve is closed at the moment, so we will try to get the damage repaired before we open to the public again."

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They say the flooding has done damage to the boardwalk, a path that runs right around the site where the water has come up and lifted the supports.

The Hawk and Owl Trust were forced to close the Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve to the public in Jana

The Hawk and Owl Trust were forced to close the Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve to the public in Janaury 2020 - Credit: Archant

The reserve is yet to open this year as a result of the national lockdown. Mr Middleton said, 'at one point we had a flock of ducks on the field next to the car park.'

The livestock on site have been well cared for during the bad weather.

Mr Middleton and his team have moved cattle and sheep onto higher ground as much land is underwater.

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve near Fakenham had to move their horn ram lambs following torrential r

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve near Fakenham had to move their horn ram lambs following torrential rain last year. - Credit: Archant

They have left them with extra feed to keep them going as there is not much to graze on in wet weather.

They say they will have plenty of repair work to do once the land dries out.

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