Experts respond to concerns over drying up of ‘natural’ spring

PUBLISHED: 12:23 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:23 18 June 2018

The are with the spring in Gunton Warren this year. Picture: Suffolk Wildlife Trust

The are with the spring in Gunton Warren this year. Picture: Suffolk Wildlife Trust


Wildlife experts have responded to concerns over the future of a popular spring.

The are with the spring in Gunton Warren in 2013. Picture: Suffolk Wildlife TrustThe are with the spring in Gunton Warren in 2013. Picture: Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Worried dog walkers and ramblers had raised concerns over the possible drying-out of a spring in Gunton Warren, which was thought to have been caused by ponds in nearby houses or an artificial trench.

However a Suffolk Wildlife Trust warden has said that the spring is not natural and the change in the level of the water has been caused by a leak.

Matt Gooch, Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Broads Warden, said: “Water bubbles out of the ground at this point but actually this occurrence is not natural and is piped artificially to this point from a private area of land.

“The spring fills the two private ponds before the excess tips into a concrete structure that then feeds this pipe.

“In recent months the concrete structure from the private gardens has sprung a leak which means the spring water is now taking a more natural route through the dunes.”

A water company did explore the possibility of bottling the water where the spring appears on the cliff face, but costs and access proved too difficult.

Gunton Warren is managed by Suffolk Wildlife Trust as part of a 10-year management agreement with Waveney District Council, which began in 2011.

Their work, alongside protecting vulnerable plants and restoring the natural habitats to help build the population of animals such as slow worms, grass snakes, and common lizards, includes removing invasive plants like Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.

Mr Gooch said: “These plants established in a few places on the site prior to Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s management and we have been dealing with the issue site-wide.

“The Japanese Knotweed in this location has undergone a yearly treatment of stem injection to kill the rhizomes that it grows from, to accelerate its eradication.”

He added: “Our approach is to protect vulnerable shingle plants with a number of temporary enclosures, restore important heathland plant communities which will help build reptile populations, remove invasive non-native plants, and prevent bracken cover spreading.

“This is being achieved by carrying out an annual reptile survey and some scraping of heathland areas to reduce the dominance of bracken - allowing more sensitive heathland plants to flourish.”

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