Hiltingbury Lake Reedbeds & Islands

Eastleigh Borough Council

Chandlers Ford, Hampshire

Summer 2012

Hiltingbury Lake Reedbeds & Islands

Hiltingbury Lake is an artificial waterbody constructed as part of an Edwardian water garden. The small lake’s (150x55m) banks were largely hard revetted using sheet piling and, as a result, offered little in the way of marginal habitat. Being set in a green space popular amongst local walkers, the amenity value of the pond was also limited by impoverished plants and reedbeds.

In the summer of 2012, Aquascience undertook an enhancement project on behalf of Eastleigh Borough Council with the primary objectives of:

  • Increasing habitat and species diversity
  • Improving water quality
  • Improving fishery
  • Increasing the amenity and aesthetic value of the site

These objectives were met using three distinct methods. Firstly, a reedbed area to the north of the lake was created using sediment to provide a medium to directly plant phragmites. The lake featured an existing island with sheet piled banks, a margin was created surrounding the island by installing galvanised gabion baskets filled with brash (to provide a zooplankton refuge). A planting platform was created on top of the baskets and populated with appropriate marginal species.

The third method was the construction and installation of a range of floating islands, to create wetland/marginal habitat within the lake area and act as further zooplankton refuge. Our design team created several circular and more abstract, bank hugging shaped islands to float in the centre and the margins of the lake, respectively. The islands were populated with more aquatic plant species and fitted with anti-grazing cages to allow the plants time to establish.

The project successfully achieved all of its objectives and Hiltingbury Lake is now considerably more attractive to visitors and wildlife.

Project Images

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