I attended a guided walk through Puxton and Stourvale Marshes this morning, with thirty to thirty-five others. These marshes are two miles upstream of Wilden Marsh. The walk was led by Paul Allen, the Wyre Forest District Council Countryside and Conservation Officer. I’ve not been here before and was interested in how these urban marshes compared with Wilden Marsh – they all exist within the same wildlife corridor.
Puxton Marsh was an industrial wasteland not too long ago, with arsenic waste pits dotted over it. The arsenic pollution, a by product of bygone local industrial processes, has been removed. Open pits left after the clean-up operation have been converted to wildlife ponds. The River Stour passes through the reserve, as does Blakedown Brook. The Worcester and Staffordshire Canal flows along the eastern edge.
Wintertime is not the best time to view the beauty of Puxton and Stourvale Marshes, but it’s a good time to walk around. During the growing season we would be pushing our way through eight feet high powerful stinging nettles. Similarly powerful stinging nettles were a problem at the northern end of Wilden Marsh before the adoption of an effective grazing regime.
The weather was misty at the start of the walk, but it soon lifted. The temperature remained comfortable and the rain stayed away. A very enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.