Norfolk Rivers Trust: River Ingol Wetland

Emily Cooper


Today, we're taking time to remember one of the most successful wetland projects to date, . What could be more inspiring than looking back on the creation of a brand new habitat—especially one which cleans over a million litres of water each day! Funding from Anglian Water allowed Norfolk Rivers Trust to partner with William Morfoot in the creation of this fantastic new wetland. It provides an inexpensive, sustainable approach to water treatment. The wetland also removes the need for carbon-intensive, expensive nutrient stripping techniques while improving water quality in the rare chalk stream, the River Ingol.
Although nutrient flow into the River Ingol was in compliance with treatment standards prior to the wetland’s creation, nutrients could still accumulate and cause harm. Rather than treated outflow being released directly into the river, it now flows into the one-hectare wetland. The wetlands, formed by four interlinking shallow pools, are planted with roughly 25,000 native plants, including marsh marigold, sedges, iris and watercress. These plants essentially purify the water, filtering and sequestering nutrients. Once the water has filtered through each of the pools, it is released into the River Ingol. This additional step in the water treatment process has a huge effect on water quality in the river, helping to preserve the habitat for wildlife and humans who enjoy it.
As well as the obvious benefits for water quality, the new wetland forms a whole new habitat for flora and fauna alike. It provides a home for neighbouring wildlife, as well as paving the way for entirely new species to move in. All of the photos above were taken on a single day; so many species now call the wetland home! In the middle of a global biodiversity crisis, this wetland is a sanctuary.
If you're intrigued by this project, check out this fantastic brochure to learn more about the creation and benefits of the wetland.
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