Essex & Suffolk Water has teamed up with an archery club for a project that has hit the mark with habitat benefits for lizards.

Around 1.5 hectares of land at Noak Hill, near Romford, has been restored to grassland that will support the common lizards that live there. The species’ habitat had declined into dense scrub, meaning it had struggled to thrive.


The water company has worked with Noak Hill Archery Club, which leases some of the land next to one of its covered reservoirs, on the project.


The agreement also sees the archery club expanding its field archery courses on the site, taking on extra land and working to a conservation management plan that will engage its team in helping to maintain the site and the habitats within it.


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Ashley Pinnock, Conservation Advisor at Essex & Suffolk Water, said: “Over the years, the land next to our service reservoir at Heaton Grange, Noak Hill has become scrubland, causing shading and that’s not a great environment for common lizards and other reptiles. So, we have restored half of the site back to grassland, creating a more favourable scattered scrub and grassland mosaic habitat. This will allow the species to flourish along with other wildlife, and has also opened up opportunities to work more closely with the Noak Hill Archers.


“It’s great that they share our passion for maintaining this revitalised habitat and that it also helps them to expand their courses on site, for the benefit of their members.”


Peter Wilson, from Noak Hill Archers agreed and added: “We are proud that our close relationship with the Essex & Suffolk Water Conservation team has meant that we were invited and trusted to look after this extra land. We have always said that we share the club ground with all the flora and fauna on it and take this responsibility seriously. We look forward to a continued close relationship with Ashley and his team and seeing the site thrive.”