Fen Group say they were removing overgrown bull rushes from the Leam pond in Friday Bridge under council's orders - and no ducks were harmed
PUBLISHED: 18:40 23 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:23 28 February 2018
A company that used a 60 foot digger to remove overgrown bull rushes from the Leam pond in Friday Bridge say they were only following Elm Parish Council's orders.
The response comes after a woman woke on Friday to see reeds and vegetation being ripped out of a nearby pond.
She believed it was destroying the home of dozens of breeding ducks as a consequence - however Fen Group say there was no sign of wildlife when they carried out the work.
The woman, who does not want to be named, said no advance notice was given about the work.
“This is the duck breeding time - they lay eggs for several weeks then sit on them in the reed beds,” she said.
“They started to pair a few weeks ago. Their habitat is destroyed - and there must be at least 40 - 50 wild ducks. Next week is going to be hugely cold, and they have nowhere to go.”
The woman said she has only been able to get in contact with one councillor all day on Friday.
“Fenland District Council deny any knowledge of this and the parish council agenda on the notice board and online does not mention this work...
“This pond is a central part of this village and these men have made a real mess of the parkland around the pond.”
A spokesman for Fen Group however said: “Last autumn Fen Group was approached by the local parish council to clear the bull rushes from the Leam pond, as we are renown for our reputation for the maintenance and creation of wildlife habitats.
“This has been an extremely wet winter which has led to the delay of the work, due to the need to use a long reach excavator on site and the ground being too wet for the weight of the machine.
“As always, an inspection of the site was carried out 24 hours prior to starting the works, to check if any of the wildlife had started to nest.
“There were no signs of this due to the current spell of cold weather and we know that the normal breeding season for ducks is mid-March.
“We removed the vegetation to the side of the pond at the request of the parish council.
“This was to allow any amphibians to return back to the water.
“This material will be collected within the next week, to tidy up the site.
“We also left a fringe of bull rushes against the road and a small section of reeds for the ducks to return and breed in.
“We have visited the site 24 hours after and the ducks are back on site.”