Cothill Fen, 14th April 2018

The weather was better than it had been for a long time when nine of us assembled to work on Cothill Fen under the direction of Judy Webb from Natural England.

The first task was to transport logs from the piles around the fen to build a short path leading into the wet woodland so Judy could access that area with less risk of falling in!

The main task after that was to fill the wet areas of the fen with cut reeds. There was also some work to be done on cutting shoots off the alder stumps on the fen. The reason for filling the wet areas was because the fen is too high in nitrates, which drain off the neighbouring agricultural land. The reeds will rot down and purify the water, making it more suitable for calcareous fen plants. 

Transporting the reeds from the piles around the fen to the areas where they were needed was hard work and we were glad of a tea break. Then we continued with the task. An enjoyable task for some people was jumping on the reeds to compress them, then adding more until they could be walked on without getting wet feet.

By the end of the session we had made pretty good progress. There was more to be done, but the task will be continued by the Friday Cothill group, and we will be back again in four weeks’ time.

Transporting logs and branches.

Vegetation in the fen including 'fool's watercress'.

Making a path into the woods.

Filling the pools with reeds.

Tea break.

Stamping down the reeds.

Half  a pool filled with reeds.


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