I’m looking at Wilden Marsh hydrology in an attempt to achieve more effective control of the marsh water levels throughout the year.
One of our aims is to attract breeding wading birds. Wading birds like muddy marginal areas around water bodies to feed in, and to breed they like very particular ground conditions. We have heron, lapwing, snipe, curlew and red shank on the marsh, and these breed between mid March and mid July. Raised water levels are preferred between November through to mid February and low water levels from mid July until end of August. Grazing is a useful tool we can use to help create ground conditions inline with our conservation aims. Intensive grazing is best carried out between August to December inclusive. There should also be minimal interruption of existing and potential breeding grounds between March and July inclusive. It would also be a good idea to reduce rush cover between August and October inclusive. Any work associated with sluices, bunds and scrapes should be carried our during August to December inclusive.
In some areas we need to reduce water levels before the start of the growing season to prevent aquatic plant dominance.
I shot the following video as a visual record of current conditions to help with future planning.