Local primary children turn nature detectives for Ingoldisthorpe Bio-Blitz

The children of Ingoldisthorpe Primary School became nature detectives for the last day of their summer term on a visit to Anglian Water’s new natural wetland at Ingoldisthorpe near King’s Lynn, which they helped to plant a year ago. 

Stocked with native flora, the wetland is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK. It has been created in partnership between Anglian Water and the Norfolk Rivers Trust as a simple, natural solution to remove unwanted chemicals, including phosphates and ammonia, from water treated at Anglian Water’s water recycling centre there, rather than needing to rely on a traditional built facility with the associated energy consumption and carbon production.

After passing through the water recycling process, millions of litres of water every day filter through four large, interconnected pools, planted with a range of native plants. The plants remove the chemicals before high-quality water is returned to the River Ingol.

The children, aged between five and 11, were on site not just to learn about the wetland and its role in the water treatment process, but to help with Ingoldisthorpe’s first ever Bio-Blitz, which saw experts from Anglian Water’s biodiversity team, the Norfolk Rivers Trust, the British Dragonfly Society and wetland plant provider Verdant Solutions spend the day surveying the species which have made the site their home.

After just a year, the wetland is already a haven for wildlife, including bees, breeding birds, amphibians, dragonflies, bats and water voles. More than 120 species were spotted on the day, with the final tally still being calculated. It’s hoped that the number of species to be found at the site will grow over time, with the 2019 Bio-Blitz providing a benchmark for future years’ measurement.

This ambitious initiative exemplifies Anglian Water’s commitment to making a positive difference to its local communities and the environment, recently enshrined in a ground-breaking change to the company’s Articles of Association which ensures that public interest is embedded in the heart of the company’s constitution.

Following the success of this flagship site at Ingoldisthorpe, Anglian Water hopes to build more than 30 similar wetland sites across its region in its next business plan, which will take the company through to 2025.

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