Amport Fen - A Progress Report - February 2010
Since Amport Fen was given to the Parish Council in 2001 by the Trustees of the Amport Village Hall Charitable Trust, to be held in perpetuity as a small nature reserve, much work has been carried out. Following the Hampshire Wildlife Trust survey and report in 2002 work has been concentrated in two principal areas:
Over the last three years a great deal of work has been done on the millstream and its banks – particularly the bank nearest the Green. The nettles, brambles and some small trees (mostly elder) – all of which were encroaching on the Green – have been cleared, allowing mowing almost up to the millstream bank. Other willows have been coppiced and the wood used to support the banks. This, together with good rainfall, particularly last winter, has cleaned the silt from the stream and improved the growth of the reeds which provide excellent habitat for small birds.
Recently, with the help of a grant from TVBC, a path has been constructed to a picnic area with a table and benches in a situation halfway down the Fen, looking towards the Green. It is hoped that families, birdwatchers and people wishing to enjoy the Fen will use this facility. It is not intended to erect signs forbidding any particular activity, but it is hoped that dogs will be kept on a lead and rubbish taken home.
Tree maintenance is an annual task and shortly some dangerous trees in the area towards the playground at the north end of the Green will be removed. Nest boxes for owls and other birds have been installed and it remains a long-term aspiration to install a video camera in a nesting box.
Shortly before Christmas a working party from the Hawk Conservancy spent an afternoon clearing the millstream and coppicing the willows. Similar work will have to be done once more before the spring and thanks are due to Ashley Smith and his team for all their hard work. In addition, in July the Hawk Conservancy Education Officer will be conducting a wildlife survey with the children of Amport School.
In summary, the Fen is now well managed,
providing a home for many different varieties of wildlife, and most importantly
offering a peaceful area for Amport parishioners to enjoy.
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