Saltholme wins the pools! There's even more to Stockton wildlife reserve
Last modified: 04 September 2012
Saltholme is growing.
Staff are today celebrating news that two additional wetland areas – Dorman's Pool and Port Clarence Pool - have become part of the wildlife reserve and discovery park near Stockton.
Ownership of the two pools has passed to the RSPB from Impetus Reclamation, as part of a planning agreement that will see an energy-from-waste plant built on nearby land. The plant will provide electricity for up to 50,000 homes in the North East and provide 50 permanent jobs.
Dave Braithwaite, who manages Saltholme, said: “This is fantastic news. Dorman's and Port Clarence Pools are very special places and will be wonderful additions to the impressive 500ha wildlife reserve we currently manage.
“Saltholme is already brilliant for people and wildlife – these new additions mean we can keep on getting better and better. We have plans to further enhance Dorman's Pool, as we strive to secure a stronghold for birds such as marsh harriers, bitterns and bearded tits in the Tees Valley. Otters and the rare and secretive water shrew have already been seen there, so our hopes are high for the future.”
Dave and his team plan to improve the reedbeds on the sites and will graze cattle to make the pond edges even more attractive to birds such as lapwings and redshanks.
Dorman's Pool is 35ha of internationally-important wetland, listed as part of a European Special Protection Area for its wetland birds.
The pool takes its name from the former owner, Dorman Long steel-makers and construction engineers. Famously, they constructed the Tyne Bridge in 1928; Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932; and, closer to home, the Tees Newport Bridge in 1934.
“The pool is home to most of Teesmouth’s winter population of pintails, an elegant duck that breeds in Northern Europe. Half of the area’s diminutive and secretive reedbed-dwelling water rails also call this place home,” Dave added.
Teesmouth Bird Club will continue to have access to the site and the RSPB hopes to formally open the site to its members in the New Year.
Nigel Flintoft, Technical Director for Impetus Reclamation, said: “Impetus is committed to working with the RSPB, providing opportunities for wildlife and industrial development to work together hand in hand. We know that Dorman’s and Port Clarence Pools are in good hands and that the RSPB has an exciting vision that will see these two areas become even better for wildlife.”
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