Conservation work to restore a nationally important wildlife habitat in Telford and Wrekin is due to start this week.
Muxton Marsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest covering 73,000 square metres lying within Granville Local Nature Reserve. It was given protected status in 1987 for its mixture of wildflower grassland, marshy fen and wet woodland.
Although the quality of the meadow is improving with more and more orchids flowering, the marshland is struggling because of the invasion of willow. This is a problem because the trees are drying the fen and shading out wildflowers relied upon by a rich variety of species.
Telford & Wrekin Council is passionate about preserving Muxton Marsh and with permission from Natural England, is employing specialist contractors to remove the willow.
Councillor Carolyn Healy (Lab), Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Green Spaces, Heritage & Leisure said:
“Muxton Marsh is the jewel in the crown of Granville Local Nature Reserve and home to valuable wildlife habitats. However, the spread of willow trees is threatening the marshland and the plants and animals living there.
“So, we need to remove the willow to restore the fen and protect wildlife. This means over the next few weeks there will be large machinery on site tree cutting. We are asking residents to bear with us while this vital conservation work takes place.
“The council is committed to protecting and improving sites like Muxton Marsh, so please be assured that the work is necessary for the future survival of the area. It will mean the marsh will be muddier this winter but this is a good thing because the wet conditions help species to thrive. Visitors will still be able to enjoy the area.”
The project is being funded through the council’s On Your Side investment programme. An additional £9,000 grant from Severn Trent Water will fund further conservation work to enhance the wetland, benefiting plants and animals for decades to come.