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.
Despite the challenging hot and dry conditions for Clausentum Fen, zone 3 has remained wet and healthy with good levels of clear water. There is a vibrant wetland community developing with an abundance of insect and plant life. Levels of water and flow within St Michael's Brook have been poor and sluggish over the summer, and at one point it dried up completely. We believe that the condition of the central fen has been maintained by a combination of groundwater seepage and water from the Floodstoc, whose flow remains good.
Zone 4 is looking much greener following some reseeding earlier in the year, with some interesting plants coming up. Some have not been so desirable including the annual Redshank, which looks a bit like Dock and has a reddish/black splodge on the leaves. This can spread rapidly and we have been pulling up as much as we can and stacking it in the piles that can be seen from the road. There is continued vigilance to deal with Himalyan Balsam seedings as they are seen, although the bulk of these were cleared earlier in the year.
2018 Clausentum Fen Conservation Group