Conservation at Shapwick Moor
Shapwick Moor, which has been used to grow a variety of arable crops in recent years, is now being restored to flower-rich, semi-natural grassland through Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship Scheme.
One field is being restored to fen. Rough grass margins along the boundary will encourage owls and other birds of prey and the small mammals they feed on.
As well as returning the land to grazing, the Trust plans to:
- Raise the water levels to protect the peat soils, which were being damaged by regular ploughing, and preserve the archaeological features hidden there
- Restore the old hedges and pollarded willows
- Re-profile the ditch banks and edges to make them more suitable for wildlife
- Encourage reedbed to develop along some ditches
- Create wide rough grass margins to encourage small mammals, such as voles – prey for owls and others
- Establish a new permissive path, linking the reserve to nearby villages
- Two hides have now been constructed, the Barbara Handley hide and the Sett hide