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Wilden Marsh

An extensive area of wet meadows and woods in the floodplain of the River Stour.

This reserve consists of a series of dry and marshy fields with small alder and willow woods, reed beds and drainage ditches – all with different flora and fauna. 

The marsh, fed with water from nearby springs, lies on alluvial soils over impervious clays.  It provides wet grazing land and, when possible, cattle are put onto the land to keep down the coarser plants and limit invasive scrub.  There are several black poplars and many of the old willows are pollarded on a cycle of about every 20 years.

Marshland is becoming increasingly scarce in Worcestershire and this reserve contains many plants now uncommon elsewhere including, marsh cinquefoil, marsh arrow-grass, marsh pennywort, lesser water parsnip and southern marsh orchid.

192 species of bird have been recorded on the reserve, with about 70 of these regularly breeding here.  These include yellow wagtails, redshank and nine species of warblers.

The wet nature of the reserve was severely damaged by deep dredging of the Stour and the removal of a downstream weir in the 1970s.  The resulting drying out of the marsh and significant reduction of plants has hopefully been reversed.  Together with the Environment Agency and Natural England, in 2010 we installed two rock ramps into the river which will raise water levels by 1.5m without increasing flood risks elsewhere.  We’ve also undertaken sluices and ditch work and will be monitoring changes to the reserve on an ongoing basis.

During the bird breeding and nesting season please abide by signs requesting visitors to leave areas  undisturbed across the nature reserve

 

Flagship Nature Reserves

This is one of 13 flagship reserves.We believe that a landscape-scale approach to wildlife conservation is essential. Wildlife needs space to adapt and move to cope with the consequences of climate change. Practically, this means that to deliver our biodiversity vision, we need to develop a coherent network of large areas linked by corridors that can provide benefits for people as well as for biodiversity.

Why is Wilden Marsh a Flagship Reserve?

It has been chosen as a flagship reserve because of its importance in demonstrating wetland restoration methods and monitoring to organisations and individuals, it lies within the WWT Living Landscapes River Stour area as part of a string of wildlife sites along the Stour and nearby canals, and there are long term opportunities for providing a community focussed site for nearby urban populations

Nearby nature reserves

The Devil's Spittleful & Rifle Range and Blackstone Farm Fields
2 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
Bishop's Field
4 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
Knowles Coppice
5 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Wilden Lane
Stourport and Kidderminster
Worcestershire
DY13 9JT
Map reference
SO 825 730
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
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Opening Times
Dawn to dusk
Size
37.50 hectares
Status
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Access
Yes

No wheelchair access.
Walking information
Please secure gates. New visitors advised to obtain map as reserve is complex; boggy areas can be dangerous. Please heed any warning or restricted access signs during the bird breeding season.
Parking
Very limited parking on Wilden Lane next to entrance
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Cattle
Reserve manager
Andy Harris
Tel: 01905 754919
enquiries@worcestershirewildlifetrust.org

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