Sunday, 14 August 2011

Cholsey Marsh.

I would like to echo the thoughts about Cholsey Marsh that have been mentioned in the “Forty” magazine (Cholsey’s excellent publication). Apparently BBOWT (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Naturalist Trust) are the owners of the Marsh or at least lease it from the landowner. It is flagged as a “Nature Reserve” however, there appears to be no management plan, no warden and no consultation with local people!

Cholsey Marsh is a unique and rare habitat along the Thames and reflects the ancient environment that was once common along the banks of the Thames. I personally have recorded over 120 species of bird on or near the Marsh (Hen Harrier, Slavonian Grebe, Garganey, Cettis’s Warbler and Long-eared Owl to mention a few rarer species) and it is also a haven for several species of Dragonfly, Moth (of which 370 species have been recorded) and Butterfly. Also Snakes, Frogs, Toads, Lizards, many species of insect and not to mention plants, some of which may be scarce in the area.

The Marsh is an important roost in the area for Corn Bunting, a declining species in the UK, with up to 180 birds roosting regularly in the winter months.

It is also a breeding area for Cuckoo, Reed Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Garden Warbler and Sedge Warbler, plus several other commoner species.

With much emphasis on conservation these days, this site is worth preserving, especially with the development of “Cholsey Meadows” the old Fairmile Hospital site, which lies less than a kilometre from the Marsh. There are several of us who visit the Marsh on a regular basis and we have a good working knowledge of the area and its wildlife.

So how about it BBOWT? Come and take a look! Talk to us! And let’s look after it!

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