The Parish Council has been awarded a grant from the project’s Community Fund to help improve the Parish Council website and to incorporate up-to-the-minute Reservoir Development news within it, so keep checking on www.winstred100.org for more updates as we invest this money. To find out more about how the project is progressing and how wildlife is being affected, you can download the project’s quarterly newsletter here or read the following précis.
Following a period of bad weather with exceptional snow and rain, the predicetd finish date for the project has been put back a couple of months since some ‘critical path’ tasks were unable to be completed. Nevertheless, work has now resumed all over the site including the new section of the B1026 and ballast extraction at Rye Farm pit together with clay extraction at Blind Knights borrow pit. More material is being carted to the main dam, by the Layer/Abberton Road, as this becomes wider and taller.
The temporary off-take pumps will soon be working to pump the water to the treatment works, this will enable the old pump building to be altered so that various vital bits are not underwater when the level goes up. The causeway on the B1026 will soon have a large hole in it (hopefully not in the lane that the traffic is using) so that the culvert under the road can be strengthened. Soon some of the concrete facing of this causeway will be removed allowing the whole thing to be widened.
The pipeline that will help supply the enlarged reservoir is being put in place very soon. They are starting at the Layer Church and Wormingford ends simultaneously and, using the wonders of modern mapping, will meet by the A12.
This winter there have been more birds than expected using the reservoir, including a rare Water Rail (RSPB estimate less than 1,400 breeding pairs in the UK). Others seen include Bewick’s swans, smew, goosander , gadwall, goldeneye, pochard, black-tailed godwit, curlew, lapwing, redshank, snipe, a turnstone, a bearded tit and bittern.