Target Habitats and Species

The target habitat for restoration and creation in the Severn Vale is lowland wet grassland

 

This includes other wetland habitats such as unimproved neutral grassland, fen and marsh, reedbed, wet woodland and saltmarsh. 

Many species depend on these habitats, and we are focussing on nationally and locally threatened species. To help these species and habitats we undertake a variety of work:

 

Otter

  • We build log and recycled plastic holts (dens) alongside watercourses for otters to lie up in during the day.
  • Pollarding willows – old willow pollards are reputed to be used by otters to lie up in during the day.
  • Restoring areas of wet woodland for otters to lie up in during the day.
  • Restoring reedbeds by managing water levels better. These are used by otters to lie up in during the day.
  • Working in partnership with the Environment Agency to provide areas of safe, clean water for fish and eel passage. The fish also provide food for otters.


Water Vole

  • Re-profiling watercourses to enable water voles to burrow into banks.
  • Fencing watercourses from livestock to enable vegetation to grow. This gives shelter and provides food.
  • Pollarding willows to allow light to bank sides so that vegetation can grow, as food for water vole.
  • Restoring ponds by dredging and de-silting and fencing off from livestock, to provide tranquil areas for water voles to breed and feed. This also provides good habitat for great crested newts.


Brown Hare

  • Including options in Environmental Stewardship (ES) schemes for farmers to ensure hares have a constant food supply and shelter for leverets. (E.g. maize stubble and field margin management.


Redshank

  • Creation of linear scrape to provide edge habitat feeding for breeding redshank. Including options in ES schemes for farmers to enable them to manage water levels and graze pasture to create the optimum sward for these wading birds to breed.
  • Creating scrapes (shallow lakes) to provide wide muddy edges where this species can probe for soil invertebrates to feed chicks in late spring/early summer. This also provides good habitat for overwintering waders and wildfowl.

 

Snipe And Lapwing

  • Including options in ES schemes for farmers to enable them to manage water levels and graze pasture to create the optimum sward for these wading birds to breed.
  • Creating scrapes (shallow lakes) to provide wide muddy edges where this species can probe for soil invertebrates to feed chicks in late spring/early summer. This also provides good habitat for over wintering waders and wildfowl.

 

Curlew

  • Including options in ES schemes for farmers to restore and manage unimproved neutral grassland for the benefit of breeding curlew. (c) Mike Taylor www.seeing.org.uk