TV conservationist opens new wildlife pond and hide at Kelling Heath Holiday Park

Naturalist, author, broadcaster & film maker, Simon King has officially opened a brand new wildlife pond and hide area at Kelling Heath Holiday Park in north Norfolk.

Known for his presenting work on popular series such as Big Cat Diary, Springwatch and Autumnwatch, as well as his series Simon King’s Shetland Dairies, Mr King congratulated the park’s dedicated Countryside Team for their hard work in constructing the new feature, which has taken 18 months to complete.

He said: “It’s rare and truly uplifting to see a space like Kelling Heath Holiday Park being actively managed with people and other living things so very much in mind. There has been a catastrophic decline in so many species we used to take for granted, but it’s places like Kelling Heath that offer these creatures a chance of recovery. We depend on the natural world, so it’s great to see investment like this in the pond and hide to ensure its survival for generations to come.” 

Built on the site of a disused clay pit, the new wetland habitat includes interpretation boards detailing flora and fauna guests are likely to see including bees, butterflies and dragonflies, as well as shrews, voles, various wildflowers, kingfishers, kestrels and muntjac deer.

Chalkboards have been installed for guests to record interesting sightings. Kelling Heath’s, Estates Quality & Assurance Manager, John Cumming says the pond will provide a tranquil spot for guests and help to educate and engage them about the natural life that populates their surroundings.

He said: “We are delighted that this area is now up and running and open for our guests to enjoy. We are completely committed to protecting the wildlife on our doorstep and careful planting will ensure a rich new habitat for future generations to enjoy for many years to come.”

Construction of the 600-square-metre pond required full excavation of the site and the addition of 20 tonnes of sand before its pre-fabricated liner was filled with water from the park’s spring-fed fishing pond.

Kelling has already been recognised for the impact the pond is likely to have on the local environment, receiving a Special Distinction Award from the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme (DBCAS), which commented: “This will be a real biodiversity asset and a worthy addition to what is already a fantastic site for nature”.

Kelling Heath Holiday Park is set amongst 300 acres of woodland and rare open heathland in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is also on a SSSI site and is close to the north Norfolk coastline at Weybourne.

Simon King has contributed memorable footage to some of the BBC’s most prestigious wildlife series including Blue Planet, Life in the Freezer and Planet Earth.