Friday, 2 October 2015

Biffa Award brings reeds back to life at RSPB nature reserve

Otter at Leighton Moss - David Mower
The RSPB has been carrying out important nature conservation work at Silverdale Moss, a reedbed in North Lancashire, to make the site an even better place for wildlife.
Reedbed is a rare habitat in the UK, as much of it has been drained for farming and development.

14 years ago, the RSPB began creating Silverdale Moss, an extension to its well-known Leighton Moss nature reserve, to provide homes for special wetland wildlife. By transforming what was once a muddy field into a reedbed, the site is now popular with a range of birds and other animals. 

However, the RSPB’s dream to attract otters and bitterns – a rare type of heron – to the site has not yet been realised.  Both otters and bitterns live on a diet of fish. But the low water table a Silverdale Moss meant that the site wasn’t providing enough fish to entice them in.
Thanks to £48,000 of funding from Biffa Award, though, the RSPB has been able to take steps to rectify the situation.

Jarrod Sneyd, Site Manager at RSPB Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay nature reserve explained “This generous funding has allowed us to make improvements on Silverdale Moss so we can better raise and control the water levels there. This will increase the fish available and hopefully encourage bitterns and otters to breed and thrive on the reserve. This work has enhanced the site for other special wildlife, helping to make the nature reserve bigger, better and more connected for nature.”

Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager said “We are pleased to support such an exciting project to rebuild biodiversity in Leighton Moss. We will be following this project with great interest, in the hope of seeing otters and bitterns in this beautiful corner of Lancashire.”

Peter Bagnall

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