Winter Wildfowl and Spring Wader habitat creation on Milnthorpe Marsh
Milnthorpe marsh habitat improvement plan comes together
On May 17th 2011, the WWA Chairman Mark Shaw and WWA Secretary Andy Stott opened up discussions with Natural England to gain a SSSI consent to improve the saltmarsh habitat on the eastern side of the River Kent Estuary for Spring waders and Wintering wildfowl. The idea was to create two wetland areas, one in the Bela Sanctuary area and another in the middle of Milnthorpe Marsh. Mark recently brought the master plan together in a meeting on 6th June 2011 between Dallam Tower and Natural England. Andy detailed a letter of the design and structure of the wetlands to Natural England for approval. A SSSI consent has just been granted to the WWA and Dallam Tower by Natural England to create two 50m (164 feet) x 20m (65 feet) sized areas of mixed depth, irregular shaped, scrapes and flashes which includes the right to keep them fully maintained e.g mowing the margins.
We are absolutely delighted with the outcome, which will benefit the over wintering wildfowl in addition to providing good sources of food for the ground nesting lapwing and redshank chicks in the Spring. And just hot of the press thanks to another WWA Committee man Dave Coward ...the great news is that the Environment Agency have offered to create these flashes and scrapes for us as part of their conservation policy.
A great result for the WWA all round, showing just what a Wildfowling Association can achieve by communicating with their landlords and Government organisations.
Dave Coward of the Environment Agency commenced work on the flashes on 7th July 2011 with an 8 tonne excavator and completed them this morning, 9th July 2011. We are certain that once they have bedded in and had the tide over them they will make an attractive feeding area for Wintering wildfowl in addition to providing shallow areas of standing water for the Spring wader chicks.