News Article29/05/2019

Sunnyside Freshwater Pool Restoration

As a charity we like to try and identify and set up new opportunities that will be of benefit to both birds and the public. Last year we spoke with Natural England about the possibility of helping to restore a set of freshwater pools at Sunnyside Farm, a site that over the years has been quite productive but under-watched. Although only a very small site, restoring a set of freshwater scrapes offers a new and different feeding site for passage waders passing through Poole Harbour and it’s hoped that by opening up the site like in years gone by, passage waders such as Green, Common, Wood and Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Little Stint and Spotted Redshank may all make use of the site again.

This is by no-means a landscape scale piece of restoration but in fact the reverting of a small area that was once open and free of thick vegetation. The Sunnyside site has a natural fresh water spring that runs through the centre of it and despite all the recent dry, hot weather is still surprisingly wet and boggy. However over the last decade the fields have become ‘clogged up’ with thick Juncas and its hoped that by re-opening up a small area in the south west corner then birds will be able to take advantage of the newly created pools. It’s also planned that the rest of the site will be cut right back where possible, although because the site is so wet in areas its just not possible to get into those spots with heavy plant machinery.

When Sunnyside was first created and opened up as a ‘site’ a small viewing screen was installed by Natural England, which initially was very good but as the site became overgrown lost its viewing appeal. The viewing screen is still in place and acts as good birding spot and you can locate it by following the red route on the map below. The car park is along the Arne approach road on your right hand side just after exiting the village of Ridge.The walk from the car park to the viewing screen will take you around 10 minuets and there is a small set of steps off the main track leading down to an access gate through one of the access fields. We’d be interested to know if and when you visit this site what species you see.


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