Wet & Wild

Wild Ken Hill takes in about 500 acres of freshwater marshes, adjacent to The Wash The marshes are beautiful, already quite wild, and well-used by wetland species in particular birds. Wading birds such as Oystercatcher, Curlew, Knot, Redshank, Bar-Tailed Godwit and Lapwing are plentiful as well as wildfowl. Birds of prey too: Marsh and Hen Harriers to name a few. Most recently, Spoonbill and Great White Egret have been spotted too, and even Turtle Doves in a particularly scrubby section.

The marshes are beautiful, already quite wild, and well-used by wetland species in particular birds

However, we don’t think these marshes are quite fulfilling their full potential. Those familiar with the natural history of this area suggest they were once much wetter, providing better habitat for wading birds. We want to turn back the clock and restore the former quality of these marshes. 

Two years ago we started designing a system to raise the water level by about 1 foot across the marshes. This was a complicated task, requiring careful protection of nearby residences and drainage systems, and a seasoned hydrology expert was involved in the design of the new system.

So we are hugely excited now to see 3 diggers brilliantly operated by a team from William Morfoot, moving serious earth around the marsh, creating the required bunds and channels to successfully raise the water level. They work fast and skilfully and have already made a lot of progress

An aerial view of the marshes, with the work of the diggers clearly visible!
Two of the diggers at work
Some more of the work completed so far. To the right, the Wash. 

The work is due to be completed by the end of November, allowing water to gather this winter and remain into the breeding season. We are hugely excited for the impact this will have on the number of variety of birds and other species using these beautiful marshes!