Nature reserve to undergo makeover

A LOCAL Nature Reserve (LNR) at the heart of Ipswich is to undergo a major transformation over the next few weeks.Alderman Canal is to be dredged to rid neighbouring residents of its stagnant smell and to allow more wildlife to flourish beneath the water's surface.

A LOCAL Nature Reserve (LNR) at the heart of Ipswich is to undergo a major transformation over the next few weeks.

Alderman Canal is to be dredged to rid neighbouring residents of its stagnant smell and to allow more wildlife to flourish beneath the water's surface.

The work will cost about £12,500 and will one of the most expensive jobs carried out by the Greenways Project - which manages countryside across the town and its surrounding areas.

James Baker, project manager, said: “There have been lots of complaints of smells there in the past and about 15 years ago it was all dredged and all the muck was pulled out.

“There is no real flow through the canal so it is like a long, thin pond and from time to time, with leaves and things getting into it, it needs dredging.

“It gets very smelly and very covered in weed and so there is little value for wildlife.

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“There is no oxygen underneath so fish and all the things that should be there can't survive.”

A digger will be used to reach about half-way across the canal from the path and some trees will need to be cleared to make way for the machinery.

Mr Baker added most of these trees had been planted at the time of the previous dredging and would grow back quickly.

Older trees that would be removed would be sycamores which he said had little conservation value and were adding to the problem of leaves falling in and clogging up the canal.

He said: “What we get out will be dropped down the bank and whatever we do we will make a mess.

“The path will have to be shut (between Portman Road and Bibb Way) for the duration and for some time after until the rain clears it up.”

The dredging will also mean a lot of the rubbish dumped in the canal, which includes bags of waste and tyres, can be removed.

However, the entirety of the canal cannot be dredged as it would cost about £55,000-£60,000.

Mr Baker said the LNR was “incredible” because of its location right in the centre of Ipswich.

He said the reeds and grasses surrounding the canal were rich in wildlife and included several wild flowers and added it was “unfortunate that people treat it like a dump”.

The work will begin on Monday and is expected to be complete by March 17.

N Do you know an area blighted by rubbish? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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