Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve and SSSI NEED the Lagoon Field and its Surrounding Green Areas

Hoo Wood Fox

Hoo Wood Fox

Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve and SSSI is again under threat from developers. At the southern end of the Reserve, close to Wilden Village, permission was granted a few years ago to use a small area immediately adjacent to the SSSI as a scrapyard, and to facilitate this decision the SSSI status of the marsh entrance section was removed. Wilden Marsh is not an entity existing on its own, it is fed from outside by the River Stour, Hoo Brook and the surrounding green areas that provide a steady supply of the insects sucked into the valley by its rising thermals; it is part of a vibrant wildlife corridor. Removing its surrounding green areas will, in effect, throttle the marsh to the point where it will not thrive. Insects, birds, polecats, badgers, foxes, stoats and weasels move down from the sloping sides of the Lower Stour Valley to forage, feed and generally live their lives on the marsh and Lagoon Field.

This is Cullum the badger foraging in the Lagoon Field.

polecat Polecat at the north end of the Lagoon Field[/caption]



North marsh vixen crossing the south end of the Northern Corridor, taking a magpie to her cubs in the Lagoon Field

As I have mentioned in previous posts, there are thousands of toads and frogs living in the Lagoon Field. The toads leave the Lagoon Field every year around 9th March; they walk across the Northern Corridor to mate in North Pond at the southern end of the Swamp. The Northern Corridor and North Pond Pasture are covered with them – I have to be very careful where I place my feet to avoid squashing them. After a couple of weeks of vigorous mating, they return to the Lagoon Field for rest and recuperation until the same time next year.

The toads are a food source for heron and otters, I guess mink take advantage of the glut too. The herons snip off the toads’ heads with their beaks, and turn them inside out to eat: the toad’s skin tastes horrible. Otters launch themselves into North Pond after dark, making tremendous splashes: they grab a toad and leave the pond to eat it.

The Lagoon Field is a productive hunting ground for buzzards, kestrels, sparrowhawks, and even an occasional Harris hawkBuzzards are often seen circling on thermals above the Lagoon Field.

The middle lagoon is boggy with a few pools full of willow scrub surrounded by tall thick grass, reeds, sedges, brambles, etc. The southern lagoon is now a flooded wood, albeit packed full with tall, spindly willow, birch and alder trees. Many scary noises float from there on moonlit nights: growls, grunts, shrieks and screams, as well as bird and animal calls I recognise. I’ve heard all manner of ducks arguing and squabbling in the south lagoon wood; woodcock and snipe hide there and I hear the occasional curlew, redshank and various owls. Foxes, badgers and otters hunt in there. Muntjac deer lie up in the long grass both sides of the wood.


Otter making its way to south lagoon wood



Hoo Brook Pasture fox cub

I could drone on and on about many more positive nature benefits of the Lagoon Field, but I think I will end this post here. The Lagoon Field hasn’t any negative aspects as far as I’m concerned.





14 Comments on “Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve and SSSI NEED the Lagoon Field and its Surrounding Green Areas

  1. You’re the perfect person to head the fight against the proposed development, Mike. I hope you’ve got plenty of locals on your side. There always seems to be conflict between the burgeoning population in country towns and nature, but you’d think the local developers would see your point in this particular instance.
    Good luck with the campaign 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, Vicki. I appreciate your support of Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve and SSSI.

      I am using my marsh knowledge, experience, and a keyboard instead of a sword to exercise my civil right to object, complain and explain about what I see as proposed injustice. Wyre Forest District Council say it’s not their fault they are considering the declassification of green belt land to house businesses and people. They say central government has dictated that 4000+ houses be provided as quickly and cheaply as possible in and around Kidderminster. Obviously, I’m passionate about Widen Marsh and would like to suggest that these proposed developments do not negatively impact on the reserve and wildlife corridor. Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve and SSSI is continually being squeezed, probably because it is seen as an easy option.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful description of the beauty of nature, how dare anyone even contemplate building here, I’m sure all like minded local people will vote strongly against the proposals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The variety of wildlife the Wilden Marsh hosts is astounding, Mike. And some of the wildlife you mention, or show here, have dwindled due to the loss of habitat. Mink, woodcock, snipe, and otter come to mind; all creatures I rarely see anymore. Your experiences, photos and videos, and the time you have devoted are a beautiful gift. I wish you luck in the development fight.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Followers of your blog know darn well that your knowledge of this ecosystem is vast. I hope that your knowledge and experience will encourage others to help you persuade the local authority to see the bigger picture and find an alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ratty. I’ll keep plugging away and hope that it will. Fortunately, I’m not fighting for the marsh on my own and our combined efforts might help win the battle.


  5. Pingback: Wilden Marsh and Meadows Lagoon Field 20 Years Ago | The Wilden Marsh Blog

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