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New lease of Broad life

PUBLISHED: 10:47 18 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 03 July 2010

IT IS one of Norfolk's least well-known broads and almost devoid of life after decades of neglect.

However, it is hoped that a £25,000 Broads Authority project to pump out 8,000cu m of silt will restore Fleggburgh's Little Broad to the lake that pensioners in the village fondly remember as once teeming with life.

IT IS one of Norfolk's least well-known broads and almost devoid of life after decades of neglect.

However, it is hoped that a £25,000 Broads Authority project to pump out 8,000cu m of silt will restore Fleggburgh's Little Broad to the lake that pensioners in the village fondly remember as once teeming with life.

Dan Hoare, waterways conservation officer at the Broads Authority, said that because of the difficult location of the broad - down a lane and a bumpy track from the Acle to Caister road - the only way found of transporting the mud pumping vessel was on the back of a skip lorry.

He said: “So far we have been working for about a month. When we started the depth was only about 1ft, too shallow to support much life, but we are aiming to restore the depth to about 4ft.”

Apart from decades of accumulated silt, the mud pump has also sucked up less expected items, including a child's toy sword and an old-fashioned glass beer bottle.

The broad and surrounding marshland is a designated site of special scientific interest and Mr Hoare is confident from his analysis of the top 1.5m of sediment that it can spring to life again as a place of significant conservation value as well as a village beauty spot.

He said it would become a habitat once again for rare stoneworts and pond weeds and seeds buried even decades ago would have the chance to germinate when the mud pumping was finished - over time, fish and bird life would be restored to the area. Because the lake is isolated from the main Broads system, accessible by boat, the silt is not contaminated in any way and is being spread on neighbouring farmland.

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