Residents invited to find out more about project to restore precious wetland habitat

Pool Dam residents are invited to learn more about plans to revitalise a wetland nature reserve that is at risk of drying out.

Conservationists wish to carry out work at Pool Dam Marsh Local Nature Reserve, to restore the unique habitat and create homes for a greater variety of wetland wildlife.

The proposals, which are part of a programme of environmental improvements being carried out by the ERDF Sunrise project, will be discussed at an outdoor public consultation on Tuesday September 22 at 6pm at the Harriet Higgins Community Centre.

Sunrise project manager Richard Guy explained: “Pool Dam Marshes was designated as a Local Nature Reserve around 15 years ago because it is an important place for wetland wildlife such as snipe and teal, a small duck species.

“Over the years, shrubs, trees and some non-native invasive plants have started to encroach onto the wetter areas and as a result there is a danger of the reserve drying out and us losing this special habitat.

“We’d like to talk to local residents about our plans for restoring the habitat, so they have the opportunity to ask questions and understand what the benefits of the project are.”

The plans include clearing and thinning some of the vegetation that is growing into the wetland areas, and also improving the drainage system to restore water levels for wetland wildlife.

Richard added: “It is important to restore the wetland at Pool Dam Marsh as some areas of the UK have lost over 90 per cent of this increasingly rare habitat. The project will also make a contribution towards tackling the impacts of climate change, as marshland can store carbon for centuries, in addition to cleaning water naturally and reducing flood risk downstream.”

The scheme is being delivered by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with support from Newcastle Borough Council, as a component of the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) SUNRISE Project, which is led by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

If you are not able to attend the consultation but would still like to learn about the project you can contact Richard Guy, SUNRISE Project Manager by email at r.guy@staffs-wildlife.org.uk or call 01889 880100 and leave a message.