Summary & Outcomes
The wetland work undertaken has included scoping and survey work, monitoring, farmer and landowner liaison work, practical restoration and habitat creation work. A part time post at FWAG SW has led the wetland creation work.
· The Poole Harbour Catchment Initiative Catchment Plan has been adopted
· Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS). Over 30 volunteers were recruited and trained to undertake winter surveys, resulting with over 7,000 bird sightings. These have been recorded on a GIS layer and information fed back to landowners.
· A Scoping report for the Corfe Valley, which has poor Water Framework Directive status. This identified habitat enhancement projects which are being followed up with landowners.
· Removal of rhododendron at a wet woodland and pond complex at East Holme, and scrub to restore a 3ha wetland site at West Knighton. Scrub clearance and fencing have enabled an SNCI rush pasture to be grazed, while seed has been harvested from a further site to use for reseeding a riparian site next year. A total of 15ha of wetland habitat has been restored. A successful £20,000 funding bid to SITAs “Enriching Nature” scheme enabled the creation of 6ha of new wetland features (including 9 ponds and scrapes) at Tadnoll nature reserve to link two parts of the Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
· Specialist advisory visits were made to 12 farmers. Two workshops were organised for land owners on watercourse management and sward enhancement on wet and floodplain grassland. Both were well attended.
· A ditch management plan was produced to deliver over 5km of ditch restoration and management over the next five years through a Higher Level Stewardship scheme.
· 22 ponds have been restored using volunteers or DWT apprentice help.
· 2.5ha wet woodland was created in the upper Frome catchment, to link and buffer existing wet woodland of high biodiversity.
Highlights & Challenges
During the course of the WPNIA work there has been increased integration with the Catchment Based Approach in Dorset. For this reason much of the work has been carried out strategically to assist with the implementation of the Catchment Partnership plan as well as the WPNIA.
There is now a strong local partnership to take this work on in the future. The key challenge will be to ensure government departments that support landscape restoration and catchment improvements work in a far more joined up way to support this local effort.
Funding bids have been developed in partnership to assist with future wetland work in Purbeck. The outcome of this is expected post NIA funding.
Lapwing, Ruff, Great Crested Grebe are all wetland bird species.