Wetland Management Works at RSPB Lodmoor, Winter 2019/20

The RSPB are planning some significant habitat management works at RSPB Lodmoor over the coming winter with the aim of rejuvenating the reedbed and enhancing the saltmarsh.

Rejuvenating the Lower Lodmoor Reedbed

Working with Dorset Council, a bridge and a sluice will be put in on the Council path that divides the reedbed at RSPB Lodmoor in two.  In order to do this, the water will be drawn down out of the reedbed in early September and the Council will close the path from 16th September for up to four weeks.

After the bridge and sluice have been built, the water levels in the top half of the reedbed will be raised but the bottom half will be left at a lower level.  These lower water levels will be maintained for about 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 cattle grazing will be removed will then be removed, the water levels raised and the reedbed will be allowed to regrow.  This management has been used successfully in other reedbeds such as RSPB Ham Wall in Somerset to rejuvenate them and make them significantly more attractive to a range of wildlife including Bitterns.

The work to create the bridge and the sluice is being generously funded by Dorset Council as it will alleviate some localised flooding problems upstream of Lodmoor.

Saltmarsh Enhancement

Planning is also in progress to improve the saltmarsh area at RSPB Lodmoor.  This will involve creating a series of new shallow islands by reprofiling the existing land within the saltmarsh area.  The shallow banks of these islands will colonise with saltmarsh plants and the islands themselves will create safe places for some species to breed and for wintering birds to roost.

During the planning and implementation of this work, ways of improving the visibility of wildlife to visitors in order to make RSPB Lodmoor an even better wildlife spectacle will be included.  

The date has yet to be fixed for these works which will involve an excavator being on site for about a week.

For further information please contact the Discovery Centre, details below:

Telephone: 01305 778313

Email: weymouth.reserves@rspb.org.uk

 

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