Improvement project 2015-18 at Funges Meadow Nature Reserve
This project was created following two surveys which took place in 2011 and 2012 when we identified a number of improvements both for wildlife and visitors which would require further funding. We receive funding from Wycombe District Council (WDC) to maintain Funges but not to improve it however, after spinning out from WDC, we have been able to raise further funds for this project with S106 funding.
Winter work 2017/18
We felled some of the trees near the old railway track, put up a lovely new fence nearby and a new interpretation board. See the photos below.
New interpretation board
Trees by old railway
In summer 2016 one of our ‘Be a Ranger Day’ teams donned waders and installed in-stream deflectors to speed the flow and wash the silt from the river bed. These were back filled and planted with suitable vegetation, whilst the gravel placed in-stream will improve the trout spawning habitat. We have coppiced, felled, pollarded or trimmed the ivy from the riverside trees to reduce leaf fall into the stream and also to reduce the shading.
We have stabilised the banks and berms (raised banks), including moving silt to create marshy margins. These have been planted up with a combination of coir rolls, coir mats (both pre-planted), reeds (to intercept and filter any occasional run-off) and other suitable marginal plants such as Yellow Flag Iris, Marsh Woundwort, Marsh Marigold, sedges, rushes, water mint, brooklime, water forget-me-not, and purple loosestrife.
Homes for kingfishers and bats
Our team built a kingfisher box in a tailor-made bank on the island at Funges Meadow and we pollarded the willow next to it to open up the area. A kingfisher was sighted nearby a number of times during the summer.
With the help of volunteers we also installed a total of six bat and six bird Schwegler boxes around the reserve. As a result of cutting back trees and encouraging riverside plant growth, there are now opportunities for an increased range of wetland wildlife to thrive such as Brown Trout, Daubenton’s bat, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, plus invertebrates such as dragonflies, damselflies and many more.
Kingfisher box creation in Funges pond
Winter work 2015/16
Last winter we worked with Five Rivers to re-landscape the lake to create gently sloping edges which enables wildlife easier access to the water. We divided the lake into several smaller ponds to maximise the diversity of the site and therefore the range of species which can live there.
The non-native crayfish and fish have been drastically reduced which should give the native species a chance to recover.
In April 2016 the rangers and volunteers sowed some wildflower seeds and we saw many species of butterfly around the lake as well as blackcaps, great and blue tits, jays, herons and many more.
The aim of this project was to get local people, of a wide range of ages and abilities, involved and hands-on in restoring and enhancing their local river (River Wye) and wetland (Funges Meadow).
Click on the Events page on our website for further activities in Funges Meadow.
Thank you again to all our supporters!