This wetland reserve features two bird watching hides, and is home to a number of mammal, insect and amphibian species, including an internationally important population of great crested newts. The general nature of the land and regular winter flooding ensure a comprehensive wetland flora. The dominant species is soft rush, with water plantain, water-crowfoot, celery-leaved buttercup, nodding bur-marigold and adder’s-tongue fern all present.
Springtime is a period of rejuvenation for the fauna of the site, as the first mass of frogspawn appears on the marsh, and little grebe and moorhen compete for the best nest sites. The insect-rich habitat and proximity to the coastal flyway have produced a variety of interesting bird species with over 220 recorded since 1985. Garganey are annual visitors and may have bred. Teal and tufted duck breed as have grasshopper and sedge warblers, reed bunting and lesser whitethroat.
The colony of tree sparrows at the car park is especially prized. During the drier days of high summer the water level drops coinciding with wader migration. Bird life can be particularly impressive during these passage periods. Twenty species of butterfly have been recorded including clouded yellow, marbled white and comma. Several species of dragonfly breed and others visit. - Ian Robinson
(all photographs I. Robinson)
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