Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of lagoon creation and water control changes on birds at a former airfield at Orford Ness, Suffolk, UK: Part 2 - wintering waders

Published source details

Warrington S., Guilliatt M., Lohoar G. & Mason D. (2014) Effects of lagoon creation and water control changes on birds at a former airfield at Orford Ness, Suffolk, UK: Part 2 - wintering waders. Conservation Evidence, 11, 57-59

Summary

A former military airfield at Orford Ness had naturally developed into a coastal grazing marsh, but limited water control caused it to be deeply flooded in winter. With the intention of attracting higher numbers of waders, six large pools were created with low bunds each surrounded by shallower water and linked by new ditches and water control points. A new water pump was installed to enable excess rainwater to be evacuated into the adjacent estuary. The number of wintering waders in the modified areas increased tenfold in mid-winter from pre to post-works, and the waders showed increased use of areas that had become shallowly, rather than deeply, flooded. The rise in wader numbers was not due to within-site movement, as an adjacent, unmodified marsh showed no change in bird numbers. Late summer wader numbers, which may include passage migrants, were 2.5 times higher after the management work.