New guests make a splash at Kelling Heath Holiday Park

8/21/2020

Kelling Heath Holiday Park has welcomed some very special new guests after taking delivery of 200 rare crucian carp supplied by the Environment Agency.

The fish have been introduced to the popular north Norfolk holiday spot’s lower fishing pond as part of its ongoing commitment to establishing an on-site population of the threatened species. Kelling now has two ponds containing crucian carp - making it a recognised sanctuary for the fish, which until recently was considered in danger of extinction.

Members of the park’s dedicated countryside team worked with freshwater conservation experts at University College London’s Pond Restoration Research Group and the Environment Agency to release the fish as part of the Norfolk Crucian Project. It comes four years after the UCL team introduced 50 crucian carp to the park’s upper conservation pond after environmental conditions were judged to be right for the fish to make a comeback there.

Peter Simmons, a countryside ranger at the park, said: “The plan was always to see how the first 50 would fare before we introduced more. Thankfully, the environment here at Kelling seems to have suited them well, so we’re delighted to now welcome even more and do our bit to establish a much-needed crucian carp base in the area.”

Norfolk’s crucian carp population had been dramatically reduced by the latter part of the last century due to overgrown ponds, but the work of the Norfolk Crucian Project has led to a 37% increase in its distribution over the last decade.

Professor Carl Sayer, from UCL and the Norfolk Crucian Project, said: “We have been returning crucian carp to the wild in Norfolk by introducing them to ponds that used to support them and which we have restored. We also want to encourage fishing for crucian carp and are keen to work with brilliant fisheries such as Kelling Heath who give visitors a chance to see this captivating little fish.”

Kelling Heath Holiday Park runs an extensive programme of nature-based activities for guests, including pond dipping and fishing sessions, all of which are designed to provide families with fun things to do while enjoying and learning about the beautiful natural environment around them.

“I guess we’re providing a throwback to a time when kids didn’t have screens to distract them and families spent so more time with each other,” Peter said, adding: “There’s so much wildlife to discover and learn about at Kelling and we’re proud to say we’re the place where dozens of young anglers have caught their first fish!”

Kelling Heath Holiday Park is set amongst 300 acres of woodland and rare open heathland in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the north Norfolk coast.

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