The Fen lies alongside the river Itchen and has chalk stream, fen and woodland habitats, but it is drying out. Tree and scrub growth have choked the fen causing great deterioration in water flow and light and led to a reduction in biodiversity. We hope to reverse this.
Stoneworts have appeared in the water of zone 3. They prefer to grow in clean, mineral-rich water. Read more about them here.
With the arrival of autumn the colours have been spectacular, and we are enjoying some misty mornings over zone 3. The wetland remains healthy and the spread of the bullrushes and other aquatic grasses over the areas of water has slowed down as the temperature has fallen. Recent work party activity included clearance of obstruction along St Michael's Brook, cutting back of introduced Cotoneaster, and the removal of a fallen bow from a crack willow that had fallen across the channel connecting Zone 3 wetland and the aqueduct area. The dead wood was moved elsewhere on site where it will provide a good habitat for invertebrates and birds.
As the vegetation dies back, this has exposed some litter and rubbish that we aim to remove. We will be continuing to monitor water flow rates and levels over the winter.
An updated map of the Fen, reflecting the changes of the last year, is available here.
2018 Clausentum Fen Conservation Group