Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Natural Conservation

Sustainable Management of Reedbeds

This is a complete project to manage reedbeds in the area, improving habitats for a range of species, including Bittern, Cetti’s Warbler, Bearded Tit and Water Vole. The project will provide:
Machinery - essential resource for ongoing reedbed management not only for biodiversity gain but resulting in a biofuel by-product.
Reed cutting - mosaic pattern rotational cutting for biodiversity gain. Managed reedbeds support numerous species.
Invasive scrub cutting - to remove trees and material inhibiting reedbed habitats and crowding root structures.

Grazing Animals, Sward Control and Floral Diversity

Mixed grazing to broaden biodiversity and to support natural land management, especially on fen, lowland mire and floodplain grazing marsh and to control rush. This will integrate sustainable grazing management across boundaries between conservation bodies and private landowners, within and without designated sites, securing sustainable grazing of areas identified by the Brue Valley Living Landscape Project opportunities map.

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Restoration of Somerset’s Lowland Mires 

To restore and protect for the future this rare and at risk BAP habitat and its associated species, at three important remnant mire locations. This habitat once covered large areas of the Somerset Levels and now stands at an area of just 40 hectares at Westhay Moor, Ashcott Plot of Shapwick Heath National and Street Heath SSSI.


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Enriching Biodiversity and Habitats

A range of measures and support to increase biodiversity on Shapwick Moor. This includes work with landowners and graziers to encourage ‘untidy’ land management to create habitats especially for water voles and species that support birds of prey such as Barn Owls.

Kingfisher Breeding Banks

Creating 2 new earthwork banks on South Drain to provide a suitable nesting area for kingfishers ­ a species protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. These will give close up views of a spectacle not many people get a chance to see.

Conserving Natural Heritage - Higher Level Stewardship Agreements

Will be used as ‘match funding’ to undertake landscape scale habitat management and restoration, in particular for water management, ditch clearance, management and thinning of overhanging trees, appropriate grazing for wet grassland habitats and species (especially birds), and a range of other approaches defined through new and existing agreements. In the first instance, Agreements with conservation organisations are being included only. Agreements with private landowners will be negotiated for inclusion through individual projects, relevant to the Scheme.

Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership
Avalon Marshes Centre, Shapwick Road, Westhay, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9TT
   01458 860556

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