On Sutton's Marsh we are taking advantage of the dry period to refresh some of the waterways on the marsh. We only have a short window of opportunity for such work between the breeding season and the arrival of the autumn rains and water-birds. Its over 10 years since these ditches had a good clean-out and its remarkable how full they have all got – over 300mm of muck is coming out of most of them!
All this work will leave some ugly scars and heaps of smelly, black mud behind but these will soon heal over once the autumn rains come and the marsh will be in much better health as a result.
Having a periodic clean-out like this is a great way to rejuvenate the marsh. Populations of mini-beasts always soar after such an event so expect to see some exciting wildlife over the coming months.
Over on Rimmer's Marsh the dry period is allowing us to mow some of the taller vegetation on the marsh. Again we only have a short window of opportunity for this work.
Although the cows can deal with most of the tougher vegetation on the marsh, we have seen an increase in the amount of real thugs like the saltmarsh rush over the last10 years. In recent years the marsh has also been invaded by hundreds of baby willow trees.
The cattle will continue to graze the marsh following the mowing until the site fills up again with the autumn rains and thousands of wildfowl.
Marshside reserve is getting ready to celebrate 20 years of giving nature a home on the Ribble Estuary. Our 20 years of managing the reserve at Marshside also coincides with the finalisation of a new lease for the reserve, which about trebles its size. Read the full article here.
Great video of a juvenile lapwing filmed by visitor Ron Jackson from Nel's hide.
Lapwings have enjoyed the increased protection offered this year on the reserve, in the form of two areas of temporary electric anti fox fencing. The number of juvenile lapwings visible on the reserve have been very positive so far this year.
Good views are best from Marshside Road looking into either Suttons marsh or Rimmers marsh, both hides on the reserve and Sutton’s trail near to Polly’s pool.