We are exploring the feasibility of creating a new wetland in Coton Reserve. The aim is to treat water from the sewage works and farmland. This will improve water quality in the Bin Brook as well as creating new wildlife habitat and a community resource. It will also help reduce carbon emissions.

Norfolk Rivers Trust have been contracted to carry out the feasibility study because they have successfully created two similar schemes in Norfolk. Rebecca Banks, Project Officer for the Trust, has been leading the research and design work “we have spent 12 months carrying out surveys and research to test whether this scheme would be possible and where it could be located. Our research indicates that it is possible using some of the fields at the reserve and we have now produced some concept designs which we want to share with the local community and other stakeholders”.

Research indicates that the only viable location for the new wetland would be by using both Fullers Field and the northern end of New Close Field. Both are farmland that is owned by the charity.

The water that currently flows directly into the Bin Brook would instead be filtered by flowing through open pools with natural vegetation. The pools would be shallow (10-20cm deep) and there would no increase in smell.

In February we produced two concept options for Fuller’s Field and two concept options for New Close. The “A” options were more wildlife friendly with a larger area for wildlife, whereas the “B” options have less for wildlife and more public access.  It would be possible to have a mix of options, for example Option A in Fullers Field and Option B in New Close. We showed these options to the local community and asked people to give us their views. You can view the plans by clicking here .

To find out more about this wetland scheme and what's involved, please click here for a presentation. You can also click here to read about the River Ingol wetland in Norfolk, which is similar to what is being proposed for Coton.

93% of people who responded to our survey supported the project and non objected. Overall there was more support for wildlife options but people wanted a mix of both. We are using the feedback from the survey to finalise the designs for the new wetland, which we plan to complete by September 2020.

This feasibility project is being funded through the Environment Agency Water Environment Grant, which is funded from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). At this stage we do not have funding to construct the new wetland, but we will be trying to raise funds after the feasibility is concluded.