Grid Reference: TG 325 108

GPS Coordinates: 52.645820, 1.4364329

what3words: dives.snapper.choppers

Size: 0.1 ha (0.25 acres)

Parish: Blofield

Access Parking: Holly Lane Pond is south of Blofield Corner, at the junction of Holly Lane and Hall Road. The site is open along the margin adjacent to the road, from which it is small enough to be viewed. If you wish to park, use the wide verge nearby, taking care not to obstruct the lane or the field entrance.

Underfoot: The margins of the pond can be wet and slippery at times.

Habitats: Eutrophic lowland pond, hedgerows, grassland bank.

Main Conservation Interest: Aquatic animal plant communities.

Conservation Status: None.

Management: Managed by BADCOG since 1983.

Description: The site consists of a small, surface-fed, eutrophic farmland pond which, in the past, would have been used to provide water for livestock on the adjacent farm. Like many such ponds in the area, it is a remnant of a past farmland landscape and former agricultural management practices. The site is confined by arable farmland and surfaced roads, and is enclosed by perimeter hedges along three of the four boundaries. A large oak dominates the southern side of the pond, and several other mature trees occupy the site.

Holly Lane Pond is where it all began: BADCOG’s first site. Conservation work started in 1983, when the group set about restoring the pond’s wildlife interest. Accumulated rubbish was cleared, and the pond re-excavated using a mechanical digger. Both bogbean and water mint were introduced to the pond. A new hedgerow and trees were planted using a variety of native species including crab apple, hawthorn, rowan and guelder-rose .

Water level in the pond is largely determined by rainfall and fluctuates seasonally. Despite being devoid of water in drier summers, water-starwort and Canadian waterweed have persisted and thrived. Emergent bulrush also flourishes and from time to time a proportion is cleared to prevent complete dominance and encroachment into open water.

The main management aim is to retain the site’s aquatic wildlife interest by managing for a mosaic of open water with patches of emergent and marginal aquatic vegetation. Shrubs are coppiced or pollarded periodically to reduce shading of the water surface. A sloping bank between the pond edge and the road supports an interesting range of flowering plants and is managed as a small piece of lowland grassland. It is usually cut during mid to late summer.

Marginal, scrubby vegetation occupies the remainder of the site. This includes patches of bramble which are left undisturbed for breeding birds, including moorhen. In recent years, a number of wasps’ nests have been found amongst the taller vegetation.

Run-off from the adjacent roads and arable farmland may have deleterious effects on the quality of the water in the pond, increasing its nutrient and sediment loading. Constant vigilance and management is necessary to help buffer this small, fragile site against the influences of the surrounding environment. The pond’s wildlife interest and its value to the local community make this a worthwhile task.

Norfolk County Council have supplied us with the following for planting at Holly Lane Pond: 6 x dogwood, 6 x goat willow, 3 x oak, 1 x ash, 3 x holly, 3 x hazel, 120 x hawthorn, 20 x field maple and 5 x crab apple.

In 1984 BADCOG won an award from the Shell UK ‘Better Britain’ Campaign in recognition of our work on Holly Lane Pond.

When To Visit: May for bogbean in flower and large red damselfly, and August for water mint. Various dragonflies can be seen on sunny days throughout summer; eight species have been recorded to date.