RSPB
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Our work here

Willow tit on branch

Image: Steve Round

Campfield Marsh protects a mosaic of habitats, including peat bogs, wet grassland, arable farmland and saltmarsh. The RSPB is managing all these for the benefit of their birds and other wildlife.

For peat’s sake

The peat bog, or raised mire, supports breeding curlews and snipe, as well as dragonflies and large heath butterflies. We are managing this habitat by maintaining high water levels and regulating the vegetation balance. We also aim to extend the adjoining wet woodland to benefit birds such as willow tits. In the longer term, we hope to expand the bog onto adjacent farmland.

Supergrass

We are managing our wet grassland for the benefit of waders and wildfowl, and aim especially to increase our breeding populations of redshank and lapwing. Grazing helps us maintain a suitable sward structure, and we will extend this habitat by creating ditches and drains on any newly acquired land. Our semi-improved grassland also supports wintering pink-footed and barnacle geese. We are working to maintain their populations by improving the composition of the grasses and using light summer grazing.

Farmland fortunes

Arable farmland on the reserve provides winter stubble for tree sparrows, reed buntings, linnets and skylarks. To boost their numbers we are converting 1 ha of semi-improved grassland into arable. We are also maintaining surrounding hedgerows, which screen wintering waterfowl from disturbance and provide homes for tree sparrows – whose breeding population we aim to increase. Meanwhile, we are dredging farm ponds and removing encroaching vegetation for the benefit of great crested newts and dragonflies. 

Saltmarsh solutions

The reserve’s 52 ha of saltmarsh supports numerous waterfowl. We are working to maintain this habitat’s key components, including its sward structure, gorse scrub and open water. Measures include grazing with cattle, maintaining ditches and open water, and minimising disturbance. We also plan to reintroduce natterjack toads, and will excavate breeding pools and maintain bare sand banks as hibernation sites.

Finding out more

We will continue to inform our management of the reserve through regular monitoring of all key bird populations, as well as environmental factors such as predation and water quality. We will also survey other wildlife, including plants, natterjack toads and under-recorded invertebrate groups.