Trust completes restoration of Groom's Marsh in the Suffolk Broads

Thursday 15th September 2016

Suffolk Wildlife Trust completes vital work to restore valuable fen meadow on the Suffolk Broads.

In January 2015 Suffolk Wildlife Trust bought Groom's Marsh, a 2.2 acre block of fen meadow at Oulton Marshes and one of a belt of small fen meadows that run north–south following the deep peat fringe along the edge of the Waveney Valley. 

However a lack of grazing meant the site had become overgrown with scrub and blighted with invasive weeds. 

Now, after a nine-month long project, backed by a £9,073 grant awarded by The Veolia Environmental Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund,  Suffolk Wildlife Trust has returned Groom’s Marsh to sustainable management and secured the site’s future as a botanically rich wildlife habitat.
 
Work on the site included removing scrub and scraping off accumulated nutrient-rich soil to allow fen plants in the seed bank that cannot tolerate competition – such as bog pimpernel, bog bean and marsh – to reappear. 

Perimeter dykes have also been cleared out, removing silt and restoring the open water that will allow important Broadland species to move back in. 

From next year grazing will be used to suppress vigorous weed growth, with the restored dykes acting as “wet fences”. Over the coming years the Trust will undertake restoration cuts of the fen meadow, in addition to the grazing to help the recovery of the species-rich flora.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust Broads Warden, Matt Gooch said: “Groom’s Marsh is an important fen meadow and the restoration work we have carried out means it is once again connected to the wider wetland – something that will result in significant gains for wildlife.

“We are really grateful to The Veolia Environmental Trust for its crucial support and to the teams of dedicated volunteers who worked so hard to realise this vision.”   

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added: “We support community and environmental projects across England and Wales and it is great to hear that this one is complete.

"We also love it when volunteers get involved in schemes we support and the ones that helped with this one need to be congratulated on their hard work. I look forward to hearing about how Groom’s Marsh is continuing to thrive.”