CONSERVATION work costing thousands of pounds got under way this week at a nature reserve in Upton Warren in a bid to improve the habitats for the wildlife residing there.
Deep water channels have been cut out at the Christopher Cadbury Wetland Reserve in the reedbeds surrounding the North Moors Pools to create areas for fish. The edges will also be suitable for bittern, heron and water rail to feed along.
The existing North Moors Pool is being partially dredged and some of the edges are being re-graded.
That will provide a shallow shelf for aquatic marginal plants and wading birds as well as deep water areas that will benefit a range of species.
Two new pools will also be created which, along with the dredged and reprofiled smaller pool, will help breeding great-crested newts and dragonflies.
Both species will benefit from the lack of predatory fish in the pools.
Funding worth £38,388 for the work has been received by from Biffa Award – a multi-million pound environment fund that uses landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Group Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Andy Harris, the reserve’s conservation officer, said the project provided a fantastic opportunity to do some essential habitat restoration work at the 26-hectare site which was the county’s best birdwatching site and one of special scientific interest.
“The Moors Pools are a series of freshwater pools, lagoons and reedbeds.
“This project will address the problem of the diminishing amount of open water particularly in and around the North Moors Pools.
“At the moment the work will look quite drastic but in the long-term it will benefit a range of wildlife, including the water rail, reed warbler, Cetti’s wabler and the rare bittern.”
Bittern regularly visit during the winter months and it is hoped the work will tempt them to stay and breed.
David Dench, the WWT’s head of conservation, said the trust was delighted to receive the grant from Biffa Award, adding the work would not be able to take place without it.
“Biffa Award has previously funded access improvements on the site, including two new bird hides.
“As well as helping the wildlife, the work we’re doing now will also benefit the many visitors to this super wetland.”
He added once the work was completed, the trust would be building a birdwatching hide to overlook the North Moors Pools where wildlife-watchers would be able to see for themselves the benefit of the work.
And Gillian French, Biffa Award programme manager, said the organisation was delighted to be supporting the project.
“This is an excellent example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can help protect important habitats for nature and the local community.” she added.
Visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk for more information on the Upton Warren reserve and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.