Monday, 28 September 2015

The Nature Reserve is a Hive of Activity

The reserve is currently a hive of activity! The grazing marsh is a mosaic of wetlands but over-time the ditches have silted up, this has led to the scrapes and in-field features drying out earlier and earlier in the year. This can have a detrimental effect on the breeding birds. The ditches are therefore cleared on a 7-year rotational programme, so that water can flow more easily around the reserve. This work will greatly improve the habitat for breeding birds by ensuring the shallow scrapes hold water for longer.

Work in progress.

Water levels on the reserve fluctuate throughout the seasons and from year to year. The amount of standing water present is controlled through a complex series of sluice gates. Water levels are controlled to create a good balance of wetland plants and grassland species, and to ensure ideal conditions for breeding birds, water voles, and otters.

Also, a shiny new fence now stretches from the end of Holkham pines to the Overy boardwalk. This protects the fragile marsh and reedbeds as well as the natterjack ponds.

A Meadow Pipet inspects the new fence.

Look out in the coming months for more work being done on the reserve, as our attention turns to improving the grazing marsh fields close to Lady Ann’s Drive.