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
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.