Willows pollarded, scrub cleared, interpretation panels in production, and common land consent received... it has been a busy start to the year at Waterford Marsh.
The wetland restoration project, led by the Countryside Management Service (CMS), has seen a great deal of activity in its first year. Following on from the cleaning of culverts by Network Rail, contractors started work on removing stock fencing, opening up a watercourse by cutting back over-shading vegetation, and pollarding willow trees. Having made a great deal of progress, the works were unfortunately halted due to the onset of poor weather and the increasing wetness of the site.
With no sign of the wet conditions subsiding, new methodologies were devised that saw the contractors accessing Waterford Marsh without vehicles and carrying out much of the works by hand. Arisings generated have been stored in temporary piles to be chipped/moved when ground conditions improve. New interpretation/entrance panels are currently in production and will be installed by CMS volunteers in the next couple of months, as will two new cattle Pasture Pumps.
In addition, the CMS has recently been awarded common land consent for the creation of new ponds and the installation of fencing to aid the restoration of sections of riverbank particularly affected by cattle poaching. It is going to be another busy year!
For regular project updates please visit the Waterford Marsh Project Page.