Friday, 16 January 2009

Wet, wet, wetland.

This afternoon the safari went to see how the Rangers and the Environment Agency were getting on rejuvenating a drying wetland.
Two diggers on site meant work was progressing apace. A series of ponds of various depth are being scraped out of the existing wetland. some are interlinked with shallow channels so will only be connected when water levels are high. Variety is the stuff of biodiversity!

This large digger was nearly lost in the bog yesterday so today 'bog mats' have been brought in to support its weight on the soft 'ground'.

Beneath the digger you can see the end of a piece of Bog Oak that has been excavated. The drivers come across these quite frequently and call them 'Moss Stocks'. Whilst on site this small skein of Pink Footed Geese flew over, possibly to join another 500 or so feeding in a nearby field just out of view.

The site will look a bit of a mess for a few days until all the spoil is graded out, but once the machinery is off site and spring comes along you will hardly be able to tell they were ever there.

We can't wait to see what wildlife will be attracted to the new ponds. In the past while there were still areas of open water there was a diverse range of aquatic and wetland plants which have recently succumbed to succession and been smothered by the tall Reed Canary Grass (most of the straw coloured stuff in the photos). It will be interesting to discover what germinates from the seed bank.
Where to next? Still a sandy type of trip on the cards for the weekend.
In the meantime let us know whose been digging in your outback.


Monika said...

We have similar problems with Reed Canary Grass smothering wetlands. I wonder where it isn't considered "invasive"?

And no, I don't think our seals are attracted to singing....though to be honest I haven't tried...yet.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Monika,
Well I never would have guessed you had RCG.Here it is native, there too?, and as such is just a competitive species in a certain stage of wetland succession. We also pulled out a few willow trees as they would soon out compete the RCG as conditions got even drier. Conservation is all about decisions as to which species we humans 'prefer' in which situations - if left to itself most of the UK would end up as mixed woodland - - we can't have that can we!!!!! So the diggers come out to slow the succession down - I suppose that's what they call habitat management.

As for the seals - keep trying! We used to go over to a group of tiny islands in the Dee estuary called Hilbre and the Grey Seals there really came to investigate any 'music' they heard.

Anyone from Scotland or the east coast had similar experience with Commons in the UK? If so let us know.