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Published June 9th 2021
Reservoir gets new safe havens for local wildfowl
The bird population at a Staffordshire reservoir has a welcome new addition to its 'facilities'. Wildfowl, including ducks, moorhens, geese and swans, can now use an extra three floating islands that have been 'launched' at Stowe Pool in Lichfield. The parks team at Lichfield District Council has installed the new floating islands at the pool, bringing the total number of bird sanctuaries to six. However, these three islands are different, having been designed to boost biodiversity. As Stowe Pool is a reservoir the council is required to cut back plants growing around the water's edge. To offset the habitat loss, the council's ecology team recommended introducing the islands, which are living systems allowing plant roots to grow into specially designed floating grids. Stowe Pool is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so plants were chosen that will be beneficial to native animals, such as white-clawed crayfish. The carefully selected plants include purple loosestrife, flag iris, marsh marigold and reed and rush.
Like the three original islands, the new floating havens have been grouped together to represent the three spires of the neighbouring Lichfield Cathedral. Councillor Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council's Cabinet member responsible for parks, said: "I am delighted to see the new living islands in place at Stowe Pool. They will offer a safe haven for birds to nest, a point of interest for visitors to birdwatch, and will boost biodiversity in the area and be good for the environment. I'd like to thank our parks and ecology teams, as well as Lichfield Historic Parks Friends Group, who've worked with us on this project."