Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Sawbridgeworth Marsh Nature Reserve in April.

Do you visit the Marsh? At present the reserve is just waking up from Winter. It is proposed to visit several sites on the reserve to show what you may see as the seasons progress. Firstly, the sites.

The sedge beds have to be cut regularly to stop succession to sallow and willow woodland and to give weaker and more interesting plants a chance.

Here is a Harvest Mouse nest found while cutting. The animals are not here now but have moved to drier and higher ground for the Winter.

The ditch sytem has to be de-silted or 'slubbed' out regularly to maintain the habitat.

There are a surprsingly early brood of Mallard ducklings!

This is the backwater which fringes the Reserve. It is relatively undisturbed and is the original channel of the River Stort.

These are pollard willows. Cut like this they are easy and safe to maintain as well as providing rich habitat.

This is a pondweed called Starwort, it is found in the semi-permanent water of the ditches in the wood.

Nearby, are some clumps of Marsh Marigolds.


This part of Valet Homes Wood has been cut to try and restore rich wet grassland. We shall see how it develops.

The Winter floods have left a 'tideline' of Banded Snails.

There is already a good show of Cuckoo Flowers.

And finally, this is the peat bank, now quite bare we shall see how it develops with the coming of Spring and Summer.