Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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22 November 2011

Cannop Ponds - Cannop Bridge Marsh

Grid Ref SO6102711601



It is just over four years since we last coppiced the alder across the causeway at Cannop Ponds (click here for the diary page for 18th September 2007). The purpose for this task is to open up the causeway but to leave the root systems intact to provide stability to the path. Some very large trees were previously removed from the track between the two main ponds as they may have destroyed the path if they had fallen. We took the cut brush into a quiet part of the forest and built a square otter holt as three otters have been seen in the ponds this year.

At Cannop, the lower pond was created in 1825 to supply water, via a "Leat", to a waterwheel at Parkend Ironworks. The flow of water proved unreliable and an upper pond was added in 1829 to boost the supply. The causeway forms a boundary, separating the marsh from the northernmost Cannop pond. WoodClub-rush grows in the marsh, forming dense stands with Bulrush, Great Willowherb and Common Reed. Mandarin Ducks use this marsh effectively to conceal themselves at night.



Before being coppiced





This shows the four year old growth of the alder on each side of the track before we started to clear it.

Nearly finished!





After a few hours, most of the track is now open and we are dragging the brush into the wood to build the otter holt.

All cleared!






At the end of the day, the track has been completely cleared.

















































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