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Flourishing Floodplains project update

It’s all go on our Green Recovery Challenge Fund project in the Severn and Avon Vales.

The FMP team have been busy recruiting volunteers and organising training for the upcoming field season which kicks off this month. We are aiming to survey 1,000 ha of floodplain grassland in the vale in a single season which is no mean feat, so we are expecting to be very busy over the summer! Read more about this in our blog here https://www.floodplainmeadows.org.uk/content/flourishing-floodplains-green-recovery-challenge-fund-severn-vale

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have been out across the Severn and Avon Vales collecting eDNA samples from ponds to test for great crested newt and European eel, and surveying for curlew, recording how many birds have returned to the vale this year and studying their behaviour and breeding. They have successfully caught two curlews, including a territorial male named Carl, who has been fitted with a GPS tag. The team will be monitoring Carl’s movements over the next few weeks to learn about his movements and behaviour.

Meanwhile, FWAG have been meeting with farmers and landholders, offering them training and advice, and assessing several sites for potential restoration to species-rich meadow starting in late summer. We will be setting up a small plug planting community project as well, to help with the restoration activity.

The project is also running an arts project in Gloucester and is just recruiting an artist to take charge of that, working with The Gloucester Culture Trust https://gloucesterculture.org.uk/ and a number of Gloucester based community groups

The official project launch was held at Gloucestershire Farmers Club on 26 April. The event was attended by farmers and landholders who were introduced to the various elements of the project including the ongoing survey work on curlew, European eel, great crested newt, and of course, species-rich floodplain meadows.  The team also set out how the project is aiming to help farmers and landholders to protect and restore the rich diversity of wildlife and habitats in their floodplain.  We hope some of them will take up the challenge!

Photograph of great burnet (Sanguisorba officianalis) in flowerPhoto of a cow grazing in a meadow

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