Students from Bardsey School enjoyed enormously their day on the 12th October pond dipping in East Keswick Marsh. After the event, they all wrote letters of thanks which included excellent sketches of many of the creatures they found. Here a re a couple of the letters… there’s not enough room to put them all.
Over the last few years the Marsh becomes very overgrown during the summer months with tall herbage that swamps the more delicate plants such as Marsh Marigold.
The Trust’s present project is to fence the central areas of the Marsh with the purpose of being able to introduce livestock to graze off much of this tall herbage. The fencing is in progress but will take another month or so to complete.
Livestock will include cows, and because they need water, Dan Turner from the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (he gave the talk and last month’s AGM) has installed a hi-tec solar-powered water pump which means that we are neither reliant on a mains water source nor do we have to allow the cows to drink from the stream.The water quality of East Keswick Beck is currently very poor and is one of the YDRT’s targets for water quality improvement. The water pump with its trough means that the cattle do not need to drink from the beck as their feet and heavy body weights cause “poaching” (puddling of the mud) on the bankside which would wash into the beck which would add to the pollution of the beck.
Bardsey School visited the Marsh 8 times during the summer, looking at the beauty of nature in local places and how food webs work.
On 27th February, our Friday volunteers enjoyed a sunny day to finish hedge planting along one of the Keswick Marsh boundaries. The hedge is 70 to 80% Hawthorn with the remainder made up of six or seven other hedging plant species such as Hazel, Spindle, Holly, Blackthorn and Buckthorn. Since the hedge in the Marsh, hedging in Elliker Field has been completed.