Fears for draught-hit village pond

Fears have been raised about a south Norfolk beauty spot after a village pond was left dangerously low by the unusually dry weather.The barbecue autumn has been a pleasant surprise for most people in the region, but not for residents in Wacton who are concerned about the health of the fish in their local pond.

Fears have been raised about a south Norfolk beauty spot after a village pond was left dangerously low by the unusually dry weather.

The barbecue autumn has been a pleasant surprise for most people in the region, but not for residents in Wacton who are concerned about the health of the fish in their local pond.

Villagers have been praying for rain as result of the low water level at Wacton Common's half-acre pond, which has received no significant rain in the last two months and is threatening the health of its mirror carp.

And the local parish council is concerned that unless the pond is topped-up with extra water by natural or artificial means, the fish will die.


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Sarah Berwick, clerk at Wacton Parish Council, said: 'It's our only option. Some are already dying.'

'We want to keep it as a nice area for people. Everyone enjoys going up there.'

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The council contacted the Environment Agency and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service for help, and both groups have pledged their support for an operation to fill the emptying pond.

However, Anglian Water has refused to supply the necessary water, claiming that the cost would be passed on to other customers.

'To fill a pond, or even just top it up, could take several days,' said a company spokeswoman, who said that such measures would be expensive and could require thousands of litres of water.

The parish council has said that it would be willing to pay up to �300 for the water, but Anglian Water claimed there are other implications than cost.

'We couldn't guarantee that we could fill the pond without interrupting the supply of water to local customers' taps,' a spokesman said. She added that cold chlorinated tap water would have a negative effect on the fish, entirely defeating the object of the operation.

Experts at Norwich-based forecasters Weatherquest have said that it has been the driest August and September in the region since 2003.

'For most of next week it looks dry as well,' said forecaster Chris Bell.

'There's no real sign in the next seven to 10 days of a soaking rain coming our way.'

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