Around 21,000 years ago, Norfolk will have seemed like a scene grabbed from the famous Ice Age movies where the likes of the iconic woolly mammoth and sabre-toothed cat roamed the land.
Unfortunately these grand creatures became extinct but an Ice Age wonder still remains – pingo ponds.
The Woodland Trust is seeking the public’s help to transform 119ha of this land to create areas of new woodland and bolster these unique habitats.
Green Farm, near Thompson village, is currently agricultural land and lies in an area distinguished by pingos which are very rare. They were created at the end of the last Ice Age and have been left almost untouched since then.
Sadly the pingos, which are popular homes to damselflies and great crested newts, are under threat from the adverse effects of nutrient enrichment, but the Trust’s acquisition of Green Farm will help alleviate this problem.
Ian Froggatt, estate manager at the Woodland Trust said: “If we are successful in raising the £4.6m needed to care for the site we will look to plant native trees, we’ll create a mosaic of native broadleaf woodland, natural grassland and wood pasture, as well as over 2km of newly planted hedges linking up isolated veteran trees.
“With its pingo ponds and Ice Age links, this is a very special area and we’re already working closely with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust who own the adjacent site, home to existing pingo ponds. On Green Farm itself we will look to restore dried up pingo ponds too.
“Making the most of established habitats close by and planting native trees will be a essential way to preserve the future of these natural gems that have remained for thousands of years – the trees will reduce surface runoff which carries nutrients to the water bodies and stabilise the soil as well as provide habitat for wildlife.
“Green Farm will be a new publicly accessible haven for Norfolk with a network of paths, promoting nature recovery and climate resilience while providing recreational space for people to enjoy.”
At present the Woodland Trust owns 12 sites across Norfolk covering 145ha, with the majority of woods under 12ha. More trees are desperately needed in Norfolk because it has woodland cover of approximately 10% compared to the national average of 13%.