New reedbed for Rainton Meadows

New reedbed for Rainton Meadows

A new reedbed creation project is taking place at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, funded by Biffa Award.

What is happening?

Over the coming months, a new reedbed creation project will be taking place at Rainton Meadows. This project will aim to create circa 1ha of reedbed habitat with a number of scrapes. A scrape is a shallow wet area that attracts birds which are able to feed on invertebrates basking in the mud, surrounded by a mixture of wet grassland and wildflower habitat. This will involve digging out a large area and carefully replacing the soil creating islands which will be replanted with common reed Phragmites australis, from the nearby Pond 2 reeds.

Why a reedbed?

Reedbeds are wetlands dominated by common reed Phragmites australis. Reedbeds are a priority habitat for conservation habitat as they are amongst the most important habitats for birds in the UK. Both the reedbed and scrapes will support a wide range of wildlife including the iconic bittern, reed warbler, reed bunting, otters and a wide range of invertebrates.

Low Barns Nature Reserve Bittern

What can I expect?

In addition to both expanding and improving the existing habitats already present on site, three viewing screens and adjoining paths will be constructed, allowing for excellent views into the area and hopefully a glimpse of one of the rare species that call reedbeds their home. Additionally, a sluice will be used to seasonally adjust the water levels within the reedbed, allowing a greater number of species to benefit from the area.

Rainton Meadows Reedbed plans

With thanks to Biffa Award for funding this project