Little Pit is a small but very deep pond in North Norfolk. The pit was completely surrounded by willow trees which had encroached across centre, leaving it entirely dry and encapsulated by a web of shoots…

Helen invites Emily from the NT Riverlands project and UCL’s Sylvia to take a look inside the pond before our restoration work begins…

Restoration consisted of removal of all the willow and a small amount of sediment removal. The pond is very steep sided and it will be interesting to see whether the slopes can be recolonised over time.

A very steep-sided basin at Little Pit

Summer 2020

After this pit being so very dry once we had taken up the leaf litter, we were not sure if it would be a successful restoration. However, much to our excitement and surprise, the result so far has be extremely positive!

Little Pit in July 2020 – 10 months after restoration

In the photo above you can see into the water and spot Water Crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis) sprawling across the pond basin, like seaweed in a rock pool. The Fineleaf Waterdropwort (Oenanthe aquatica) has also begun to return from the seed bank (see photo below).

The Fineleaf Waterdropwort (Oenanthe aquatica) is returning from the seedbank in Little Pit

Using a net to look for invertebrate species colonising the pond, we came across a Great Crested Newt eft – a new site for the species in this landscape! This is a brilliant example of how restoring pond habitats close to an existing newt population can really strengthen that community: “build it and they will come!” as they say 😉

An exciting find of a Great Crested Newt eft whilst looking for aquatic invertebrates