Wetland habitats in Cheshire have been restored through work carried out as part of a pilot project spearheaded by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), working in partnership with other conservation bodies.
The Gowy and Mersey Washlands project, which is funded by Natural England, aims to restore, recreate and reconnect wetland habitats in the River Gowy and Mersey corridors. Work was carried out on land owned by the Frodsham and District Wildfowlers club, who agreed to raise water levels, improve the condition of the reed bed and create muddy wet areas for wading birds on two hectares of land on Frodsham Marsh to benefit birds such as curlew and snipe as well as a whole host of invertebrates. Work included creating a large scrape and raising water levels by building a series of sluices to enable it to hold water year-round. A scrape is an area of shallow wetland.
Ben Gregory, from BASC, said: “This was an exciting opportunity to take part in a project working with a shooting club who are committed to conservation. BASC’s Green Shoots project is enabling clubs throughout Cheshire to be actively involved with initiatives such as the Gowy and Mersey Washlands project, demonstrating shooting’s contribution to conservation."
Richard Gardner, from the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Working together with the Frodsham and District Wildfowlers and BASC’s Cheshire Green Shoots officer we’ve been able to devise a project to raise water levels and improve the condition of the reed bed which will have a positive benefit for wildlife and the club. It’s a real win-win situation."
Photograph courtesy of Richard Kellett.