Crayford Academy pupils get stuck into Thames Road Wetland management work

Sixth-formers from the nearby Crayford Haberdashers Aske’s Academy helped with key winter tasks at Thames Road Wetland on the afternoons of 7th October and 11th November, getting most of the required Reedmace-pulling done in double-quick time and also cutting back Sallows to increase bushiness and maintain key views out across the site. Buddleia was pruned to facilitate the planned installation of a stile over an internal barbed wire fence.

Pulling areas of Reedmace helps maintain some shallower areas of more open water, creating a greater variety of habitat types on the site, and makes a modest impact on silt build up. The main pulled area is within view of the sewer embankment, providing opportunities to observe winter bird activity which, when one is lucky, can include the resident Water Rail

A previous Reedmace-pulling session at Thames Road Wetland

A previous Reedmace-pulling session at Thames Road Wetland

We are grateful to the pupils for giving up their spare time to help, as these tasks would have taken a lot longer with just the regular volunteers, and to the careers advisor for making the arrangements.

reedmace Thames Road

Pupils pulled Reedmace in the area of the pool at the centre left of this image. By doing this every winter an area of shallow open water is created that is used by Water Rail, Teal and Little Egret, and although there is re-growth during the season, it never gets as dense as the surrounding area of reed-swamp.

With projected work at Thames Road Wetland and the surrounding area the subject of a successful funding bid, including the imminent appointment of a temporary paid project worker, Thames21’s River Cray Project Officer Michael Heath and I are keen to further develop links with the school, in order to deliver ongoing educational and environmental benefits for both local young people and the wider public.

Chris Rose, Thames Road Wetland (Volunteer) Site Manager

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