and reedbed of sand and gravel quarries
Areas where the ground is either permanently wet or is inundated
can form interesting areas of marsh and reedbed. The plantlife
that grows here supports a wide range of invertebrate, bird
and mammal species. It is the high volume of insect life that
attracts the higher groups. Many birds which in the winter
will be on the open water, will use dense vegetation in which
to nest. Some other more secretive birds, such as the water
rail, will rarely leave the marsh.
Marshes and reedbeds can be alive with the frenzy of small
and large birds in the breeding season. Many of these, like
the reed warbler, are migrant visitors attracted by the high
volume of insect food and long summer days in which to feed
and rear a brood of young.
Ditches in marshes in addition to being favoured by dragonflies
are used by water voles, shrews, frogs and fish and provide
a good source of food for larger birds like the heron.
An established reedbed.