Coals to Newcastle came to mind when we were asked by M.Gaze Ltd to plant 15,000 reeds (Phragmites australis) at their waste treatment site in Norfolk. The treatment beds were a refurbished set of horizontal gravel redbeds with a total area of 3,800m2.
The beds were being re-planted after a planting last year had failed and it emphasised the importance of protecting the newly planted reeds from grazing. The culprits in this case were mostly Mallards and Moorhens walking in from the neighbouring lagoons pulling up and chomping away at the newly planted reeds – a very expensive way of feeding the local duck population!
I have attached a photo of some of the surviving reeds that were being grazed by Moorhens – given protection for a few months these should get big enough to become too large to graze.
When planting a new reedbed I always think it’s worth spending at least 20% of the total planting budget on temporary fencing for one growing season – it will be money well spent.