Just been out to Cowpen Marsh, half a mile up the road from the visitor centre, to look at some work we had done there last week. The massive storm surge on 5th December last year flooded the marsh and the brinefield at the other side of the road. All in all, 200 ha (about 450 acres) were under water and considerable damage was left in its wake.
We took Cowpen Marsh back in hand three years ago through an agreement with the landowner. In the 1970`s, by an arrangement with ICI who owned the marsh then, it was an RSPB reserve in its own right. That agreement ran out and over time the marsh dried up. With some clever engineering works since we took it back, the marsh is marshy again and wetland birds thrive once more.
It was great to see that the damaged dam had been repaired perfectly and was holding water. Amongst the birds I enjoyed during my brief visit were hundreds of Wigeon and Teal, about 30 Barnacle Geese and a rare Egyptian Goose. Amongst the Graylag and Canada Geese was a single Pink-Footed Goose and as I left the marsh a Green-Sandpiper obligingly popped out of a ditch in front of me. Truly amazing as my records show that on a visit the same time three years ago there was `nowt`!