Wetland creation at Croxteth Country Park

Wetland creation Croxteth Park, Mersey Rivers Trust

 

The Wetlands at Croxteth Park is part of the wider Upper Alt Misconnections currently being undertaken by Mersey Rivers Trust. We became involved in 2020 the Croxteth Park Volunteer Group (CPVG) as part of the consultation exercise run by Mersey Rivers Trust, following an earlier Design and Feasibility study that was carried in 2018/19.

The project involved the creation of the wetland within Croxteth Country Park at a point where the River Alt splits into two channels. The wetland acts as a filtration system to improve poor water quality caused by an accumulation from pipes and misconnections upstream; provide flood water storage; and creates 1075m² of habitat.

The purpose of creating the wetland was to:

  • Improve water quality:  When water passes through the wetland the reeds filter the sediment and nutrients which can harm aquatic life.
  • Help reduce flood risk: During times of heavy rainfall the wetland collects and stores water to help slow the flow down the River Alt.
  • Provide habitat: The reeds, trees and plants here give birds, insects, fish and mammals, including protected water voles, a place to live.

In July 2020 an Ecology survey was carried out which we were part of. This needed to be done before any construction or scrub removal work was undertaken. We joined Mersey Rivers Trust staff to ensure any works would not have a negative impact on local wildlife. The survey consisted of local records from Merseyside Biobank followed by a walkover survey of the site, checking for signs of vole activity, looking for invertebrates in the river etc.

Water Vole survey with the Croxteth Park Volunteer Group
Water Vole survey with the Croxteth Park Volunteer Group

 

Following the survey, in October 2020 construction on the wetland began. This involved further site clearance, digging the pond and landscaping the excavated material around the site.

Over the Winter period the wetland began to attract a variety of wildlife including Little Egrets and Herons. As Spring approached Mersey Rivers Trust started the process of planting up the wetland with trees, plants, shrubs and 3,000 Reeds!! CPVG was delighted to take part in the reed planting, it was hard work but thoroughly enjoyable!

Croxteth Park Volunteers helping with reed planting at the newly created wetland
Croxteth Park Volunteers helping with reed planting at the newly created wetland

 

We are very much looking forward to watching the wetlands mature and develop and excited to see how the wildlife in the area increases and changes due to the new habitat.

 

One of our volunteers Paul O’Callaghan visits the park regularly with his daughter sums it up nicely!

 

I visited the site of the wetland at Croxteth Park soon after its creation and have recently been back to see how it has developed. As a teacher in a local school, I am sure it will be a brilliant place to bring children to witness the wide variety of birds that we saw as well as to study the River Alt. We are so lucky to have such a fantastic resource on our doorstep and are really looking forward to seeing how the trees and newly planted reeds develop over the coming months’ 

 

By Chris on behalf of Croxteth Park Volunteer Group