Desilting on a wetland reserve with access for animals
JPR Environmental assisted the client with a major desilting project on this important wetland reserve in Arundel, West Sussex. The client, The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, received Higher Level Stewardship funding to undertake the project to create suitable wetland habitat for wading birds.
This project had a number of ecological objectives including:
- the creation of a wet grassland to attract breeding waders
- the desilting 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 desilting 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 desilting 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.