Too much water on the marsh.

Sunrise: 05.03 Sunset: 09.09

There is too much water on the marsh! How can there be too much water on a marsh, some of you must be thinking. Well, it’s true! We have too much water on the island, and too much water on the mainland. It’s not just a matter of my feet getting wet either; the high water levels are negatively affecting some of the rare marsh flora, such as the indicator plant marsh cinquefoil. 

Some rare wetland plants will tolerate deep water in winter, but struggle to survive during the growing season without effective water level management: they might become ‘swamped’ by water doc, reeds or yellow flag irises, for instance. 

The solution is simple: we increase water flow from the marsh into the river by progressively removing sluice boards until the waters reach acceptable levels. 

The south marsh sluice is easily accessible at the south pool. There isn’t a sluice on the island, so we will have to do a bit of ditching and install one.

The first image is of the pipe bridge that once transported dirt laden sugar beet washing water from a sugar factory to the lagoon field alongside Wilden Lane; the second image is of the south marsh sluice. 



8 Comments on “Too much water on the marsh.

    • Crucial? Yes! Laborious? Well, it might be for the contractor. Getting heavy equipment onto the island is not easy. It will be done, though.

  1. Is this the result of too much rain? Although we have had a miserable spring, it hasn’t been unusually wet.

    • The last 3 years have been the wettest in 30 years. The high water levels might be due in part to the reinstatement of two weirs along the marsh section of the River Stour in 2010, replacing the originals that were removed in 1971 as part of a flood alleviation scheme. However, we usually begin the process of lowering the marsh water levels at this time of year. The Island water level is more important now because we will start improvement work there this winter.

    • Thanks Raewyn. There are many things that we don’t know about our environment. I guess many people don’t have the luxury of being able to spare sufficient time in their busy schedules.

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