Tuesday, 27 July 2010

News from Oulton Marshes

Developing Dyke at Oulton Marshes

The Oulton Marshes Reserve is developing well with good numbers of Cetti's Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler present this season.  The new land has started to attract birds like Little Egret, Yellow Wagtail, Lapwing and even the Grey Wagtail, as well as many Mallard and Mute Swans with the open water areas.  These areas are also a hive of activity for Dragonflies and Damselflies such as the Norfolk Hawker and Azure Damselfly that parade up and down the newly cleaned out dykes.

The new river wall

The Flood Alliviation Project has finished for the time being. The Fisher Row path is accessible as far as the river but access is still not permitted along the banks of the Oulton Dyke, this is to allow vegetation to establish and the areas of open water to reed up.  The Ice Track permissive path that takes reserve visitors to and from the 24hr mooring is open and allows access north along the old river wall embankment as once again the new wall needs time to develop.  Both these areas will be fully functional as permissive routes next year with an excellent surface to walk on and great views of the reserve.
Developing dyke at Oulton Marshes

The large areas of water at the Tea Gardens and along the western edge of the reserve are designed to take silt from Oulton Broad and will eventually become mini reedbeds that should attract bearded tit and plenty more sedge and reed warblers to the site, as well as providing refuge for otters and water voles.

The reserve is developing well with the help of cattle grazing and topping to achieve a short sward into the winter months.  This will hopefully attract numbers of wigeon, teal and geese.

The reserve interpretation and access will be improved over the next couple of years with an interpretation plan designed to educate and encourage use of the reserve, with additional permissive paths and information panels and even a viewing platform for bird watchers to view the marshes or just somewhere for visitors to rest their feet.

Hopefully whether you are fishing on the Oulton Dyke, walking or birdwatching you will be able to enjoy the wildlife soaring over head or feeding on the marshes, right on the fringe of Lowestoft.

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