De-silting works and habitat creation – Arundel

De-silting on a wetland reserve with access for animals

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust undertook a Higher Level Stewardship project on their reserve in Arundel, West Sussex.

This project had a number of ecological objectives including:

  • the creation of a wet grassland to attract breeding waders
  • the de-silting of the large lagoon on the site
  • the construction of a number of pools within the existing reedbed – designed to provide fishing opportunities for bitterns and for invertebrate habitat
  • Large scale de-silting requires careful planning and evaluation to reduce the ecological impact of the works.

At Arundel, we had to take into account dormice and water voles – both are protected species and both have a healthy, expanding population on the site.

We undertook the de-silting on the main lake of the reserve and re-landscaped the area to form a wet grassland complex with water control structures. The area was seeded with a suitable wet grassland mix.

With careful water-level and vegetation management, the area now has a number of pairs of breeding waders every year.