A grant of over £32,000 has made the Laindon Common heathland reclamation project a huge success. The signs are promising with good regrowth of Gorse and Broom and the appearance of new species.
“We have found the procedures and advice given by the Veolia staff to have been both prompt and helpful. It has helped oil the wheels to achieve a huge amount in a short time – in spite of the weather! We would like to thank all concerned for their generosity in funding a project which has helped bring the community closer together.”John Ellis, Laindon Common Conservers
The reclamation of the old well has made it an attractive point of interest on the common. The nearby seat provides an excellent place to sit and admire the surrounding countryside and is perfect for outdoor learning programmes.
The paths that have been constructed to afford disabled access have seen substantially more pedestrian traffic and will be followed up with interpretive boards at points of interest.
Trust funding has allowed the construction of two ponds (fully lined with a bentonite membrane) which have filled naturally and a third winter pond has been created to maximize biodiversity. A fourth pond with an accompanying bridge is also new and has become an integral part of the system of paths. The new ponds are already showing signs of insect population and we are receiving regular advice from Essex ARG.
The scale of the project meant that unpaid work was provided for members of the probation service on a weekly basis. They seem very enthusiastic about the project and provide most of the physical labour.
Two hedge laying masterclasses were held for the volunteers. The Fungal foray also got a good response, with around 46 different fungi discovered on the first outing.
The project used almost 100% local labour and craftsmen.