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The RSPB Nature Reserve in the Dearne Valley, near Barnsley (S. Yorkshire) is a safe haven for a wide variety of wild birds including some highly endangered species like the Bittern. It consists of wetlands and is bordered by the River Dearne. This fragile habitat is dependent on careful management of its water levels. To allow the team at the RSPB the ability to

manage the water levels they required a pump that could transfer water in large quantities while being flexible enough to cope with the changing aspects of the site. It was critical that the pump could be manoeuvred around the site with ease and once the pump was in place it had to be operational in the shortest time possible. The BBA B3000 Power Take-Off pump

had already shown itself to be a powerful and flexible piece of equipment when the Kings Lynn Internal Drainage Board ordered two for emergency flood relief. The pump is ideally suited for this type of situation. It is driven via the standard PTO connection on a tractor. This means that it can be manoeuvred into position and in action when and where it is needed. The pump is capable of pumping 24 tonnes of water per minute to a height of 2 meters. The PTO pump was originally designed

as a method of emergency flood relief but the RSPB have found it to be a diverse tool for a multitude of situations. The first job for the pump was to drain an area of the wetland to allow reedbeds to be planted to increase the

habitat for Bittern and other species. The pump has also been used to reduce the water levels in some pools allowing wading birds to feed and, going forward, it will be able to move water between different management cells during the breeding season, to create optimum water levels for species such as Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe. Dave Waddington from the RSPB commented that the pump could “clear an

area in 1 hour that would have taken their conventional diesel pump 6 hours”. The RSPB have found various additional

uses for the pump. Due to its high flow rate, they plan to use the pump to circulate water through the pools preventing them from freezing over during harsh weather. The location of the site also means that there is a risk of flooding visitor facilities and if this happens the PTO pump is on hand to save the day.


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