This week Ebsford Environmental returned to Poole Park to install two floating islands as part of the contract to improve the lakes and lagoon.
Delayed from the original work in order to allow the saline-tolerant plants to establish in the coir mats, the islands were constructed on site and floated out in to position. They provide another type of habitat for the wildlife to use, providing a relatively cost effective method of providing:
- refuge for fish and invertebrates in the water underneath the islands, safe from feeding birds like cormorants
- the roots dangle in the water below the frame and can have some benefits in filtering pollution. Although on a body of water that is 21ha in size these two small islands will have relatively little impact, they are features that could be added to in the future should funds be available.
- the planting is currently protected by a wire frame over the island. In time the saline-tolerant plants will establish and then provide new habitat for smaller birds to roost.
- the islands are 40m2 in total, one slightly larger than the other
The islands are located near the two bird screens, the built island in this area is to be assessed as it is very low in the water and options are being developed to ‘top-up’ the sediment and make it a better feature for birds, although the black-headed gulls already think it is fine for them!
Photos from left: coir mats and frames ready to be constructed; floating islands being constructed; island being anchored on the right hand side of the photo and floating!