Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Saving Wilden Marsh

A combination of Wildlife Trust volunteers, rare breed cows and the Environment Agency are saving Wilden Marsh.

The volunteers monthly work group met last Thursday at Wilden Marsh, Kidderminster, to begin coppicing the tall willow trees along the edge of the "orchid field". These trees are presently overhanging a wide strip of marshland running the full length of the field and this is having a detrimental effect upon the number of orchids and other plant species. The rare breed cattle graze the site and help keep the the habitat suitable for the rare flora.

In the 1980s the river Stour was deepened causing the Site of Special Scientific Interest to dry out. The Environment Agency have started work on a major conservation program to restore this wetland, working on the site to construct 2 new weirs to raise the water level of the river. The raised river levels will re-wet the underlying marsh enabling plants such as marsh orchid to thrive. Old ditches will be restored to remove excess surface water, which currently pools on the surface.

Please note that access to the Reserve is temporarily not possible for Trust members due to the presence of heavy construction vehicles. The monthly volunteers have restricted access.

John, Stourbridge group

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