Thursday, 3 May 2012

Arundel site visit

I visited the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust at Arundel to look at the Wet Grassland project that we had worked on in the autumn of 2010 and it was looking fantastic!  The lapwings have taken to it in a big way with at least 6 nesting pairs and I enjoyed watching a brood of 4 young being shepherded around the scrape (one of the chicks spent a bit of time swimming) and the adults were busy chasing off anything that might be a threat – mostly Jackdaws. 

I was shown the site by Paul Stevens, Grounds manager, who with his team have done a fantastic job of opening up the reserve, removing a lot of the willows.  This is paying dividends with the numbers of wetland birds using the reserve as a whole including roosting Bewicks Swans and flocks of waders.  He was excited by the visit by a Little Ringed Plover to the Wet Grassland and was hoping they may stay to breed – this was the first sighting for a number of years. 

We popped in to look at the reedbed where we had removed a lot of mature willows -  cutting and burning the main trees and then spraying off the regrowth.  The whole area looked a lot more open and Paul was enthusing about the Bittern they had over wintering there.  He’s now got his eyes on the willows further back – they’d better watch out! 

The site sits in the Arun Valley, an area that traditionally would have had a large number of flood meadows. Recent dry years have meant that wet grasslands are under threat and areas specially managed like this are becoming ever more valuable.

For more information on JPR Environmental go to our website 

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