Unveiling reedbed creation at Bodenham Lake

Bill Wiggin MP unveils one hectare of reedbed for wildlife at Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve

On the 17th of May Bill Wiggin MP joined Herefordshire Wildlife Trust staff, volunteers, project funders and local councillors to unveil one hectare of reedbed creation works at Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve.

The Lugg Wetland Gem project, primarily funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has moved nearly 30,000 tonnes of soil, to create one hectare of warm shallow waters, in the otherwise steep sided ex-gravel pit lake. Common reed will thrive in these shallow waters creating one of the UK’s rarest habitats: reedbed.

The project officer Sophie Cowling said “Since the use of common reed for thatching roofs has declined, many reedbeds have been lost, resulting in a decline in the wildlife that relies on reedbeds for food and nesting. By creating one hectare of reedbed we hope to boost numbers of birds, grass snakes, dragonflies, toads and many more species at Bodenham Lake.

The new bird hide we have put in on the Southern shore will allow the public to enjoy all the wildlife that will make these areas their home.”

Thanks to funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, project volunteers have planted 1,600 reed plants in the newly created shallows, to help to create a reedbed. It will take a several years for these reed plants to grow to form a reedbed, so fencing has been installed to protect the young plants from grazing wildfowl and sheep.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust also have European Regional Development Funding to improve three of the islands of Bodenham Lake for wildlife, particularly ground nesting birds such as oystercatcher and little ringed plover. Works to improve the islands will start in September 2019 and it is anticipated that they will take two months.