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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Plans to boost wildlife numbers at country park

PLANS are afoot to increase the wildlife at Talkin Tarn near Brampton with a new haven for birds and insects.

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Scheme: Talkin Tarn manager Fiona Ship at the possible site of a ‘wader scrape’

The shallow pool or ‘scrape’ at Farlam Field would create a new habitat attracting wading birds and dragonflies to the country park.

Carlisle City Council, which manages the tarn, is asking users for their opinions on the proposal before submitting a planning application.

Tarn manager Fiona Shipp said that the pool, which is 1.3 hectares in size, will boost the range and number of creatures who call the conservation area home.

She said: “The wader scrape will be a shallow, muddy area perfect for wading birds.

“The scrape is a really simple thing to create. As the name suggests, it involved scraping the surface to create the space for a pool.”

The technique is often used by the RSPB in reserves across the country.

A gentle slope with an uneven finish will produce a shallow pool which will remain wet longer and allow a gradual exposure of the feeding surface. As the edges of the pool are important for wildlife, they will be scalloped providing opportunities for birds and insects to settle. The pool is being planned for Farlam Field which is part of the wider country park. Some of the soil that is dug out will be used to carry out bank stabilisation works next to the Alex Boathouse.

Staff at the tarn have already asked Natural England and Cumbria Wildlife Trust for comments on their plans. They also want to hear from the general pubic and people who use the Tarn.

If there are no significant objections, it is hoped that work to create the scrape can be carried out in between October and November.

For more information on the wader scrape contact David Pearson on davep@carlisle.gov.uk or telephone 016977 3129.

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