Going wild at the lake

PUBLISHED: 16:40 26 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:38 24 May 2010

WILD flowers and creatures are thriving thanks to a new mowing regime at Backwell Lake. In May 2005, Backwell Parish Council decided against taking over the management of the local nature reserve from Wessex Water. Wildlife wardens in Nailsea and Backwell

WILD flowers and creatures are thriving thanks to a new mowing regime at Backwell Lake.In May 2005, Backwell Parish Council decided against taking over the management of the local nature reserve from Wessex Water.Wildlife wardens in Nailsea and Backwell, members of Backwell Environment Trust (BET) and keen environmentalist Andrew Town were concerned that the beauty spot would lose its special status.So they arranged a meeting with a representative from the water company to discuss how the area around the lake could be best maintained for the benefit of the community, plants and animals.As a result, a new mowing regime has been introduced on a trial basis. Some areas around the lake are being left to grow wild. Other sections are being cut short, so people can enjoy the view while they have a picnic and children can feed the ducks. Before the first cut took place under the new system, 30 orchids had begun to bloom and initial soundings suggest that visitors to the nature reserve like what they see.Andrew Town said: "I popped down to the lake and it looked good after its first cut under the new regime."There were lots of people engaged in various activities. Everyone I spoke to seemed to like the look of the work and agreed it was a good idea to strike a balance between community use and encouraging wildlife. The main impression I was left with was that people felt the lake was being cared for."A spokesman for Wessex Water said: "We are delighted to hear that people are enjoying spending time at Backwell Lake."We believe we have found the right balance between community use and allowing wildlife to flourish at the lake and will continue to look after this important community resource for the benefit of both villagers, visitors and wildlife.

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