Northampton Bradlaugh ponds run dry after water main repair

Pond at Bradlaugh Fields reserve
Image caption The pond may have dried up because it was being "topped up" by water from a leaking pipe

Ponds and a stream that dried up at a nature reserve in Northampton may have done so because they were being "fed" by water from a leaking pipe that has now been fixed, Anglian Water has said.

Water levels at Bradlaugh Fields fell after Anglian Water fixed a burst main at the site earlier this month.

"A trickling leak from the pipe was adding to natural groundwater to keep the ponds topped up," said a spokesman.

The reserve said any potential impact of the change was being monitored.

The reserve lies on land managed by both the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust, and Northampton Borough Council.

About a week after repairs were carried out to the water main, members of the public reported a stream on the land was drying up.

Image caption The stream feeds water into ponds on another part of the reserve

The stream feeds a number of small ponds on the reserve.

Anglian Water's experts were called in to determine whether the changes in water levels were caused by work to repair the burst main.

"It's possible a long-running, trickling leak from the damaged pipe was adding to natural groundwater to keep the ponds topped up," a spokesman said.

The Wildlife Trust's reserve manager Jane Pearman said: "It is not clear at the moment whether there will be an impact on the other wet areas of the scrub field."

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