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Fishy goings on at Norfolk touring park

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Plans to establish a thriving population of rare Crucian Carp in the county are a step closer after 50 of the fish were released into a pond at Kelling Heath Holiday Park, in north Norfolk. Members of the park’s dedicated countryside team worked with aquatics experts at University College London’s Pond Restoration Research Group to release the fish as part of UCL’s Norfolk Crucian Carp Project.

Kelling’s Operations Manager, Mark Durrant, hopes the park’s latest residents will thrive in their new surroundings so that Kelling is recognised as a sanctuary for a species that until recently was considered to be in danger of extinction.

He said, “We have had Crucian Carp in the ponds in the past, but over the years they have died out. The conditions now seem right for them to make a comeback, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that they thrive in their new surroundings and establish a much-needed base in the area.”

The carp have been released into Kelling’s Upper Pond, where their progress will be monitored by the UCL team over the next 12 months. More fish are then due to be released into the pond over the next two years, with a number being introduced into Kelling’s Lower Pond if the project proves successful.

Both ponds are of high conservation interest with the Upper Pond supporting rare aquatic flora, including wholed water-milfoil, lesser marshwort, cowbane and greater water-parsnip.

Norfolk’s Crucian Carp population has plummeted by 75% since the 1970s, with overgrown ponds and predatory fish thought to be the main causes of their decline.

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