The last of the landscaping works on the Cam Washes has begun. This work forms part of the Capital Works agreement with Natural England's Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. As part of this we are creating a number of shallow (~0.5 meter) ditches or scrapes that will connect the existing water-bodies we have previously made with the ditches that feed the area from the River Cam. By making the ditches wide they have large areas of shallow edge which remains wet and muddy, perfect for feeding waders and their chicks.
Historically these features would have been made by river flood waters cutting across the flood plains, however, now we have to use a bulldozer!
The soil under the vegetation is mostly peat over river silt but there are isolated pockets of 'pug-clay' , a slimy water-logged clay which makes it very difficult for a bulldozer to get any grip on to clear the surface material.
Reserves Manager at the Kingfishers Bridge wetland creation project in Cambridgeshire.