For the most-part, the day-to-day management of the marsh is carried out by Norwich Fringe Project, which also co-ordinates improvement work such as described above and other initiatives that improve the site for its inhabitants, as well as makes it more accessible for visitors.
Councillor Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for parks and open spaces said: “The work Norwich Fringe Project alongside the council’s natural areas officer is vital for the life of this special site. And, so much of this is only possible through the efforts of a variety of volunteers who generously give up their time. Our thanks go to National Grid and our regular volunteers, for making this day, and others, possible.”
Matthew Davies, Norwich Fringe Project officer said: ‘‘People are sometimes surprised to learn that places like Marston Marshes don’t look after themselves but actually need a lot of management to keep them in the best condition for their wildlife and visitors.
Volunteers play a vital part in managing our sites, and we are delighted that National Grid is helping us to further enhance Marston Marshes.
Anyone interested in volunteering with the Norwich Fringe Project can contact us.”
Andrew Newton, a local network supervisor for National Grid’s gas distribution business, is leading the company’s efforts to enhance the marsh. He said: “At National Grid we are keen to support the communities where we live, work and operate. We are delighted that we can help preserve this precious wildlife site and make it even more enjoyable for local people.”
More about the marsh's wildlife
As one of Norwich’s eight Local Nature Reserves, Marston Marsh is a special site. Something of a wildlife haven, its numerous dykes are home to a host of aquatic flora and fauna, including the relatively rare and elusive water vole. The grassland habitats are managed through summer grazing by cattle and mowing. Marsh orchids, ragged robin, meadow sweet and other marsh flora give the site slashes of colour throughout the growing season.
There are five wildlife ponds where dragonflies and damselflies are regularly seen. The banded demoiselle is common in the summer along the riverside paths.
Summer visitors include various birds such as warblers, while long-tailed tits, jays, green woodpeckers and kestrels are seen throughout the year.
Geese and the occasional snipe use the site in the winter