Report from 1998: Nuisance problems associated with emergence of midges – special reference to Millbrook Lake

Mar 7, 2022 | Community News, Council News

Please find a link for a report entitled  ‘‘Nuisance problems associated with emergence of midges special reference to Millbrook Lake’.  This report was commissioned in 1998.  In response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environment Information Act 2004, the Environment Agency has agreed for this report to be shared.  It makes interesting reading. 

The Environment Agency, who operate and maintain the tidal barrier and the control gates for flood risk management purposes, are working with the Parish Council to commission an updated investigation and report into the current onsite conditions and ecology of Millbrook lake to inform the development of a future management plan for the lake. This is planned to take place during the summer of 2022. 

1 Comment

  1. Peter Beton

    At the time of the issue it was clear that an ecological imbalance had developed since 1981, when the construction of Millbrook Lake was completed as a major part of a food alleviation scheme. With an unquestioning acknowledgement of the invasive nuisance created by the swarms of midges a number of solutions were proposed. In addition to the subsequently adopted scheme of regular draining and flooding of the lake with estuarine brackish water, a number of natural ecological, long term strategies were proposed, including extensive tree planting to provide shelter, feeding and nesting habitats for insect eating birds and other species.
    As part of this approach, with the tireless help of other enthusiastic volunteers, and with the encouraging support of the parish council, l led a large team of youngsters and parents in the planting of a large number of young saplings to a carefully planned layout around the lake. These now form the aesthetically attractive treescape feature that most of us enjoy today. The selected trees species included the rows of Lombardy Poplar that line the walkway and lakeside. At a recent evening walkabout led by a bat expert, it was pointed out that the Lombardy trees are a favourite roosting tree species for the large bat population that we have around the lake, and that they would be having a highly significant effect on reducing the flying insect populations, including the problem midges. As well as helping reduce the midge population, it is very pleasing to see that the trees now provide a range of invaluable habitats, as well as enhance the village and have continued to involve the local community, and in particular the young future custodians of our village.

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