Wetland Management Works at RSPB Lodmoor

Winter 2019/20 Update

In October 2019, it was announced that the RSPB was planning some significant habitat management works at RSPB Lodmoor over the winter with the aim of rejuvenating the reed bed and enhancing the saltmarsh.

The bridge work started in October but because water levels were so high wasn’t finished until November. A sluice has now been installed behind the bridge so the amount of water coming into the reserve can be controlled.

Now the sluice is in place, the water levels in the top half of the reed bed will be raised but the bottom half will be left at a lower level. 

There’s another sluice on the bund that separates the reed bed from the salt marsh. The vegetation has been cleared from around the sluice on the bund that holds water in, so volunteers could work on it.

There is still a small amount of work left to fit boards to this sluice and once this is complete the amount of water kept in the reed bed can be controlled.  When the water levels start to be lowered the reed bed will be drained down for around three years, during which time the reeds will be cut, cattle grazing introduced and if necessary the ditches will be cleared out.  During this time the habitat created will be attractive to a range of wildfowl and waders, particularly in winter.

The wardens’ team have been clearing bramble and scrub along the boundaries of the reed bed so that a stock proof fence can be put in. This was finished by the end of February before birds started nesting. And now our contractor is putting in the fence posts.

As for the saltmarsh; on the west path a site has already been cleared which will be a new viewpoint.  The ground levels just need to be built up to make a safe viewing area.

A machine has been in to profile the saltmarsh with a series of scrapes. With all the recent rain in February it looks like a lake, but as the water levels drop the scrapes and islands will reappear.

Report and Photo Credits: David Morphew @davidmorphew

Over on Radipole Lake, Lesser Celandines are strewing the riverbanks, the Marsh Marigold is coming into flower as are the Alexanders.  Early Cow Parsley is already in flower, along with Sweet Violets and Primroses.  The first Hawthorn tree is now beginning to blossom by the concrete bridge which is where the Penduline Tit has frequently been seen and heard these past few days. 

Lesser Celandines, Marsh Marigold, Primrose

Photo Credits: Naomi Bailey

Cetti's Warblers are also active and noisy in the reedbeds.  A number of Mediterranean Gulls are among the Black Headed Gulls in on the Discovery Centre Island and in the car park.  The Marsh Harriers have been around checking out nest sites on both reserves.  A Red Kite was seen by WeymouthBirder at top of the Radipole Lake.

Penduline Tit, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier

Photo Credits: Edmund Mackrill, @WeymouthBirder

For further information on the Lodmoor Wetland Management plan and for all the latest sightings contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available.

Telephone: 01305 778313